November 28, 2012

Mass. joins states allowing electronic billboards

Regulations bar flashing lights or moving video in the display and require 15 hours of public service announcements per month.

The Associated Press

BOSTON — Electronic billboards could soon be popping up all over Massachusetts highways after state regulators determined they do not distract drivers.

The new state-approved regulations authorizing the billboards take effect Dec. 7. They follow a three-year pilot program that tested the digital signs in selected areas and showed they created no safety hazards for motorists.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation tells The Boston Globe about 40 other states allow them, and that the signs have been "beneficial" for promoting public service announcements in addition to commercial products and services.

The new regulations bar the use of flashing lights or moving video in the display and require 15 hours of public service announcements per month.

Opponents, including former governor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Dukakis, call them garish.

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