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You are here: Home News In Brief Louisiana Proposes Legislation to Regulate Roadside Billboards, Trucking Industry Supports the Move

Louisiana Proposes Legislation to Regulate Roadside Billboards, Trucking Industry Supports the Move

Louisiana legislators debated a bill to cap the number of billboards in the state and regulate where they can be displayed to minimize distraction for drivers.

Rep. Jack McFarland proposed a resolution to increase licensing fees, double the amount of space required between billboards, prevent any new billboard construction, and ban a company from billboard advertising more than 3 miles from its place of business.

“It’s just gotten out of hand,” McFarland said. “You can’t go down a highway, state highway, or any of the interstates now without seeing a billboard every 500 feet.”

McFarland argued that number of billboards is disproportional to its highway miles. Louisiana has 2 percent of U.S. highways, but 10 percent of the billboards.

 “They’re innovative, attention-getters. People do look up doing 65, 75, 85 miles an hour on the interstate. You’re spending more time looking up than ahead,” said McFarland.

The bill is opposed by outdoor advertising giants like Lamar, which is headquartered in Baton Rouge. They called the legislation “anti-business.”

Trucking companies, who are often villainized by trial attorney billboards, support the proposal.

About 1,000 of the state’s billboard advertisements belong to trial attorneys who solicit business from those involved in a truck accident.

McFarland said the legislation is not intended to target content, but rather the frequency and location of the ad spots.

Chance McNeely, executive director of the Louisiana Motor Transport Association, said the issue is about distracted driving. “They are inherently distracting,” McNeely said. “They exist to distract.”

After three hours of debate, the House of Representatives voted against the bill.

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You are here: Home News In Brief Louisiana Proposes Legislation to Regulate Roadside Billboards, Trucking Industry Supports the Move