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Statewide Moratorium on Digital Billboards Proposed

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Some very interesting news broke last Friday: Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles), famous for championing the Measure R (transportation) bill, is now seeking a statewide two-year moratorium on new digital billboards, and will announce the news at a press conference tomorrow at City Hall. Basically, Feuer has suggested the moratorium over concerns about safety and driving, and wants the digital conversion (the city has approved the conversion of nearly 900 billboards) to stop to wait for the results of numerous studies expected to come out in the next few years. Via the LA Times:

The biggest study, by the Federal Highway Administration, is expected to be completed by the end of this year and will use devices measuring eye movement to see how long motorists take their vision off the road when spotting electronic billboards with changing messages, according to Doug Hecox, an agency spokesman. "The study is intended to find out if these new technology signs do cause any kind of problem," Hecox said. Those who are against the moratorium include Senator George Runner (R-Lancaster), who tells the paper that the city shouldn't be cutting off revenue streams in these dire times. Here's what the LA Weekly says: "Meanwhile, Los Angeles Feuer's entry into the billboard wars is freighted with irony. He himself is a former Los Angeles councilman, who lost a bid to become City Attorney in 2001 to Rocky Delgadillo -- a loss some say was partly due to the pro-billboard Delgadillo taking more than $400,000 in free billboard space from outdoor advertising companies who slapped Delgadillo's smiling face across the city."
· California lawmakers propose moratorium on digital billboards [LA Times]
· Mike Feuer Proposes Statewide Digital Billboard Ban [LA Weekly]