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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777
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Distraction On A Board

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Picture this; Mr. Smith is driving down on the Brooklyn Bridge, eager to get to work on time. At the corner of his eye, something flashes. He turns to look at an electric billboard. BOOM…CRASH…BANG… he’s been hit. That billboard took more than his attention – it took his life.

A billboard is a large advertisement located primarily on major highways or expressways. It affords great visibility because of its size, but also allows for creative customizing through extensions.

Billboard advertisements are designed to catch a person’s attention and create a memorable impression very quickly, leaving the viewer thinking about the product or locale long after they have driven past it. As they are usually viewed at high speeds, there are very few words in large print. Then there are electronic billboards which will have images in brilliant colors.

The New York Times recently reported that there was a debate as to whether these state-of-the-art electronic billboards cause accidents. A recent survey shows 30% of drivers are distracted by them.

This may seen like a small amount but it has been suggested that personal injury claims could be brought against the advertisers. After all, the point of the billboard is to grab the driver’s attention, away from the road.

Bright lights and vibrant colors – and they change every six to eight seconds. Common sense says this is dangerous.

A friend of my grandfather was driving on the highway, when a billboard caught his attention and his car began to swerve – it took a bit for him to regain control.

Even though it’s tempting to look or take your eyes off the road, it’s very dangerous. It can take less a second to miss something in front of you. You may be taking your life right “before your eyes.” So, don’t just sit and do nothing, every person counts. Go out and petition, tell the government how you feel about billboards . Save not only your life, but others as well!

Tzippy Juskowicz

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