New Legislation About Digital Advertisements Could Be Distracting to Drivers
JEFFERSON CITY- More digital billboards could be added to Missouri's highways and roadways if legislation is passed. A bill endorsed Tuesday by a House committee would allow for conversion of traditional billboards into electronic signs. These changes could be made if they met state and federal rules when they were first put up. Digital advertisements allow for more content to be seen by viewers with images that change daily, hourly or even several times within a minute.
These animated advertisements also make advertising cheaper because it's sending a computer file to the audience, instead of printing a billboard which can cost about $1,500. The Missouri Outdoor Advertising Association says Missouri has around 40 or 50 digital signs. Bill May, the executive director of the Outdoor Advertising Association, estimated that about 75 percent of the state's 8,800 billboards can't be improved or changed. That means only about 100 to 150 signs across the state could be converted to the digital display. However, cost is also an obstacle. May said it costs about $500,000 to convert both sides of a one-sign billboard to digital format.
The Senate has already approved the legislation and now goes before the full House. If approved, the bill would go to Governor Jay Nixon, who vetoed similar legislation last year.