By Clair Morton
Last updated on: November 27, 2017 at 1:24 pm
Have you ever found yourself shielding your eyes from the glare of a bright LED sign while driving?
If the answer is yes, perhaps you share the concerns of Marion City’s councillors, who last month voted to write to the Department of Transport opposing LED billboards planned for several major roads in the council area.
Councillors were worried the roadside signs could present a major safety issue by distracting motorists, with some councillors adding they didn’t want Adelaide’s suburbs to end up looking like Las Vegas or New York’s Times Square (pictured).
We wanted to know just how safe these signs were too, so we asked RAA’s senior manager of Road Safety Charles Mountain to help us out.
The road safety expert agrees overly bright or reflective signs have the potential to dazzle or distract drivers, but says there are several planning approval requirements to ensure this doesn’t happen.
“There are guidelines that say how bright a sign is allowed to be, what type of messaging can be displayed, where they need to be placed in relation to traffic and how far they need to be from traffic lights,” Mr Mountain explains.
“Advertising signs will generally require approval from the relevant local council and the Department for Planning Transport and Infrastructure where the signs will be near a major road or traffic signals.”
In short, electronic signs are legal, but there are a lot of hoops to jump before they can be placed in view of motorists.
Mr Mountain says as long as these are met, there should be no distraction to motorists.
If you’re concerned about the placement, brightness or content of a particular sign, contact the local council or the Traffic Management Centre on 1800 018 313.