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Guiding principles for developing digital and projected advertising display regulations


Digital and projected advertising displays (DPADs) are a rapidly emerging form of roadside advertising. The brightness of DPADs and their ability to distract drivers by displaying dynamic content are causing concern about their road safety impacts. Most jurisdictions have sign by-laws designed to control the time, place, and manner of static advertising signs. However, many jurisdictions have not updated their by-laws to address the unique characteristics of DPADs. Advertising is a form of expression which is considered a fundamental freedom under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Advertising is also a type of roadside information that is not essential for the driving task and by its nature increases the risk of collision by distracting drivers. Jurisdictions must balance the right to advertise with the potential road safety risks of these advertisements. Therefore, the objective of DPAD regulations is to control the negative road safety effects of DPADs.
This paper presents five principles to guide professionals during the development of DPAD regulations from a road safety perspective as part of a larger study to develop national guidelines for the application and use of digital advertising signs. These principles are safety, consistency, specificity, evidence-based, and pragmatism. These principles help ensure that regulations hold public safety as the primary concern, result in DPADs operating in a manner that emulates static advertising signs, pertain only to issues unique to DPADs and not to issues that are common to all advertising signs, are evidence-based, scientifically supported, and sensitive to local conditions, and are pragmatic and enforceable.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Road Safety Policy Development – Past, Present, Future
Rempel, G.
Montufar, J.
Dewar, R.
Forbes, G.
Road safety