Digital billboards posing threat to road users

Islamabad - Mohammad Shahid, a road safety expert, has appealed to the authorities concerned to take notice of the increased use of digital billboards along roads across the country and urged the policymakers to enforce stronger regulations in this regard in the best interest of the road-users.
In a statement issued here on Sunday, he said that many developed countries, including the USA, have banned the digital advertising billboards, pointing out that unlike mobile phones, the drivers cannot switch them off.
He also appreciated the CDA and Islamabad police for launching an operation against illegally installed billboards in the city.
“The use of model girls advertising glamorous products in eye-grabbing huge electronic billboards with bright colours and constantly changing images, along a busy road, seriously pose a potential safety hazards by diverting all concentration from driving to billboards, leading to a definite risk of a road accident,” said Mohammad Shahid, who is also founder of the Road Safety First. Digital billboards normally change images every 4 to 10 seconds, flashing multiple messages from one or more advertisers on the same sign, the road safety expert said, claiming that majority of motorists were being affected by the roadside distractions while driving.
Meanwhile, lack of adequate security signs on most of roads in the federal rural areas has left scope for drivers, pedestrians to be misguided and ultimately cause accidents.
According to traffic rules, there should be warning signs, information signs, route signs, road marking and supplementary plates on the road to guide the drivers and pedestrians. There should also have reflective sheeting on the roads to indicate zebra crossing and the driveway for crossing road by the pedestrians.
A resident of Bhara Kahu said that very few roads of rural areas have minimum traffic signs. Most of the road medians and the roundabouts do not have fluorescent reflective sheeting, which is essential for visibility at night to avoid accidents. Many speed breakers are not marked with colour that cause inconvenience in driving vehicles and small accidents very often.

ePaper - Nawaiwaqt