We want your opinions

Speakout

August 12, 2007

ISSUE:

An Anne Arundel County councilman has submitted legislation to ban all electronic signs and billboards, saying that their moving pictures and video, or flashing or scrolling text, can pose a dangerous distraction to drivers.

Current zoning law allows electronic message boards "as long as they are on a cycle of no less than five seconds."

Councilman Jamie Benoit said he believes the billboards already are illegal; he hopes to clarify a law already on the books.

"That's advertising, that you create as much disruption as you can to get people to look at your sign," said Benoit, a Democrat from Crownsville. "People are going to look at the signs and wreck their cars."

The county has seven or eight of these signs, according to the Annapolis and Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce. Of that, only a couple appear to have moving video or text that would conflict with Benoit's bill, said Bob Burdon, the chamber's president and chief executive officer.

YOUR VIEW:

Should the county welcome the eye-catching signs as the wave of the future in advertising, or are they a risky distraction?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be printed next Sunday.

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