Posted on

Billboards on Roadsides Distract Drivers and May Increase the Risk of Crashes

396831618 10225418529549797 5673350034753439458 n

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, reader points out that according to the Journal Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine billboards on roadsides distract drivers and may increase the risk of crashes.

An interesting peer reviewed study published in the Journal Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM:Objective: Advertisement billboards on roadsides distract drivers from driving tasks and may increase the risk of crashes. Yet, empirical evidence on the direct impact of advertisement signs on crashes is scarce. The Ayalon Highway in Israel is a suburban highway crossing the greater Tel Aviv–Yafo metropolitan area. Following debates in parliament, advertising billboards were removed from the road in 2008 and restored mid-2009. This study examined the impact of advertising billboards on crashes while considering 2 interventions: Removing (or covering) existing billboards and their subsequent restoration.

Method: Three periods of billboard presence were defined: Period 0, when billboards were visible; period 1, when billboards were removed; and period 2, when billboards became visible again. Crash changes associated with each intervention were estimated by comparing period 1 vs. period 0 and period 2 vs. period 1, respectively, and by comparing vs. control groups. Negative-binomial regression models were fitted to the monthly crash counts, while controlling for time period, site group (treatment or control), and seasonal effect.

Results: Removing the billboards was associated with a decrease of 30 to 40% in injury crashes and restoring the billboards was associated with an increase of 40 to 50% in injury crashes. The crash changes were consistent across various analyses. The estimated decrease in crash numbers during the removal period was up to 100 damage-only crashes and 50 injury crashes per year, and the estimated increase in crashes after billboard restoration was up to 120 damage-only crashes and 30 injury crashes a year.

Conclusion: The study provided empirical evidence on the positive safety impact of removing billboard advertising from the roadsides of a suburban highway and of the negative safety impact of billboard restoration. The stronger impact values found in the study, compared to previous research, may be related to the high frequency of conspicuous billboards along the road and to complicated traffic conditions on the road—a heavily traveled route with a high density of interchanges—that might strengthen the negative impact of driver distraction due to advertising billboards.


Tell your story #TheRidgewoodblog , #Indpendentnews, #information, #advertise, #guestpost, #affiliatemarketing,#NorthJersey, #NJ , #News, #localnews, #bergencounty, #sponsoredpost, #SponsoredContent, #contentplacement , #linkplacement, Email:

29 thoughts on “Billboards on Roadsides Distract Drivers and May Increase the Risk of Crashes

  1. This is very true and Route 17 in that area is already a very high accident zone. In the first week of October there was a bad crash there on a Saturday. We don’t need to further distract drivers with these neon billboards. They serve no purpose but to further distract drivers. We can only hope that Ridgewood’s Zoning Board says NO.

  2. If you object, please show up at the Zoning Board Meetings to tell them that the impact of the Outfront Media Billboard is a significant concern for our community. A large number of residents who are aware believe that any variance approved for the Outfront Media Billboard creates the following:
    • Damages the Peaceful Enjoyment of the Neighboring Communities. The Outfront Media Billboard is (a) within close proximity to residential homes; (b) in clear view of the homes, on both sides of Route 17; (c) also close proximity of the Old Paramus Reformed Church; (d) next door to a Kumon Learning Center; and (e) within feet of the Valleau cemetery. The 24-hour rotating advertisements will create a constant visual distraction, denying these residents and visitors to these existing homes and enterprises the right to peaceful enjoyment of the existing properties. The light and change in imagery will have a negative impact on the quality of life, the ability to concentrate and worship and the serenity that is deserving of the owners of and visitors to these existing properties.
    • Negatively Impacts the Value of Neighboring Properties. The negative impact on home values resulting from the addition of billboards is well documented. This is an impact that in this case will not only be felt by residents but also the Old Paramus Reformed Church, which has voiced concerns at public meetings regarding potential reduced interest in purchases at the Valleau cemetery. Home value is a matter that impacts all Ridgewood residents. Protecting the value of Ridgewood homes and the Eastside contributions to the Village tax base is critical to maintaining the services that the Village can offer.
    • Violates the Village’s Master Plan and Public Image of the Village. The proposed billboard contradicts the Master Plan, which states, “At minimum, the following features of the Village should be considered for protection: a. The Route 17 corridor in the vicinity of Valleau Cemetery, the Schedler Property, and the Old Paramus Reformed Church. This corridor should be protected from out-of-scale visual intrusions, including but not limited to billboards, power lines, poorly designed and inappropriately located buildings.” The Outfront Media Billboard is squarely within the terms of items that should not be included in this area, as specifically agreed under the Village’s Master Plan. In addition, it is noted that the Village cannot completely control the content of the billboard. For this reason, the imagery that is projected may include information that is not reflective of the persona, values, and character of the Village. As the sign will be in Ridgewood and will be associated with this area, the billboard and its contact will in some ways impact the image of the Village. While broad categories can be set, the specific content that is viewed 24 hours by our residents and children and that people will associate with this town and area cannot be controlled or predicted. This can have long-term effects on the development of the Village.
    • Chanels Unrestricted Information to Ridgewood Children. The Outfront Media Billboard will be within feet of the Kumon Center located at 545 Rte 17 So., within feet of the Nursery School [at Old Paramus Reformed Church] and a short distance from Benjamin Franklin Middle School. Students at the Kumon Center will have full view of the billboard. Students outside of the Nursery School will also have full view of the billboard. Students at BF Middle School frequently utilize the Valleau Cemetery for outdoor walks for gym class or other outdoor activities. During these visits and traveling to and from school, these students will have full view of the billboard. While there will be restrictions placed on the advertisements the parameters will not be fully prescriptive and controlled by educators or parents. The continued display of information that may not be viewed as age appropriate, may be instructional, directive or influential, or at a minimum distracting, creates an unknown risk and impact to the children of the Village. Once approved, the billboard cannot be monitored or controlled by the Board of Education or parents.
    • Endangers our natural inhabitants and is contrary to Ridgewood’s ‘Green’ commitment. The billboard’s lighting will create a hazard for the birds and other wildlife that share the Village. The unnatural light will impact the night foraging and habitation and may further endanger the limited fauna that share this community. In addition, as Ridgewood has been promoted as a ‘green’ community the billboard will contribute to energy waste, climate change, and electronic waste production.
    • Violates the Trust Fund Grant Agreement between the County of Bergen and the Village of Ridgewood. In the 2010 letter from the Bergen County Department of Planning & Economic Development to the Village of Ridgewood, it clearly states, “Limitation of Signs: the display of billboards, signs, and advertisements over, the property is prohibited.” Recent public testimony has highlighted concerns about the reflection of advertisements over the 7.08 acres of the historic Schedler property and the historic Zabriskie-Schedler house, both listed on the National and New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.
    • Creates a Highway Safety Hazard. The proposed digital LED billboard presents a significant safety hazard by distracting drivers on both sides of State highway Route 17, potentially leading to increased accidents and endangering pedestrians near the Ridgewood Park and Ride.
    • Creates a Precedent for Similar Commercial Advertising. If approved, the Outfront Media Billboard can be used as a precedent for the standing of other billboards or other commercial advertising requests in Ridgewood. By approving the billboard, the zoning board could be viewed as setting a standard of acceptance or a level of reasonableness for such efforts, which will gradually change the character of the Village, having a significant long-term effect.

  3. Question-who will get the revenue from the billboard, who stands to gain from this?

    1. The owners of the property that would lease the space and Outfront Media. Assume also Gail Price and Paul Vagianos.

      1. who owns the property where the billboard will be placed?

        1. Property owers are a trust. Simpson (Trust) % Sunoco, KE Andrews located in Texas not even NJ. They bought the property for $21k and it is valued at over a million.

  4. Follow the money. It wouldn’t surprise me if the board approves this.

    1. If they do, it is just a matter of time before this company and others have billboards popping up all over, every property owner on Route 17 will want this. They will also try to put billboards up in the Village on sides of buildings, etc.

  5. This would be awesome. I have been screaming about the demise of this town and whole area from high density housing but I have heard that this helps our area since it makes it more diverse and also thriving. Along these lines I think the billboard servers the purpose. A thriving RW needs this.
    As they say, If you can’t beat them, join them. Enjoy the new thriving future. My vote is YES, make it as big as it can get. Those who vote for nuts need to feel the pain.

  6. Down the Shore I have a favorite seafood restaurant that I have gone to for many years. From the outdoor deck you look out at a river. When small boats go by, people on them wave to people at the restaurant, who wave back. The food is simple and good.

    A few years ago a small but hideous digital billboard appeared on the opposite side of the river. I can’t even enjoy my broiled seafood medley without constant distraction. While driving? NO.

  7. The industry are, of course, lobbying against such research. For every set of independent data (not sponsored by industry) there are 25% more (including the self-denying DOT) that say billboards are safe.
    However, as with Ridgewood, money talks toward being pro-billboard.

    If billboards do not distract drivers, why use them at all? Why are there industry unique selling points to would be advertisers saying:

    “Studies have shown that LED’s are six times more effective than traditional billboards. Electronic billboards may be so effective because they are animated unlike anything else outdoors.

    Another reason they are so effective is that people don’t get tired of these ads since they change every few seconds. We tend to pay attention to things that are different and that we haven’t seen before.

    Research has shown that 94% of people passing mobile billboards can recall them while only 43% can recall non-moving billboards. Overall, sales increased 107% for products shown on mobile billboards and 54% on static signs.” (ibid.)

    There we have it, the billboard industry and its significant contradictions, billboards are safe, and do not distract drivers, yet they are incredible at persuading drivers to watch and remember what the billboard us saying.
    Is it, perhaps because Electronic billboards cost more than standard billboards. The average CPM (cost per thousand) for a regular billboard is $2.05 and $37.42 for an LED billboard.
    Billboards with LED’s are rented by minutes and each ad is shown for 8 seconds. Some ads can cost as much as $50,000.00 for 2520 minutes (1.75 days) and as little as $1,200.00 for 648 minutes (.45 days.) impairment.(

    The intended position for the billboard being entertained by the Village is absurd as it is already an accident and speeding blackspot, and will undoubtedly lead to lawsuits from one of the manifold law practices which now specialize in billboard distraction accident suits. The Ridgewood taxpayer will, as usual, be left holding the proverbial baby for far more monies than the dangerous billboard will generate.

    That 24% of states in the United States now prohibit moving or animated signs and 29% of the U.S. have timing limits on electronic billboards speaks volumes. Most of the United States prohibits flashing red lights and anything that causes a glare or vision impairment, and four states so far have legislated against billboards completely (Vermont, Alaska, Hawaii, and Maine).
    Let’s see common sense and adherence to what we’ve been previously promised by those Village leaders with integrity, over special interest money!

  8. Don’t care. Do it

    1. Do you beat little old laddies and kick dogs. We told you this is next door to a school, moron.

  9. Have Vagianos and Winograd come out publicly in favor of this? And Gail Brooks is the attorney representing those in favor of this sign?

    1. It is Gail Price and Richard Brooks, best friends with the Mayor, who got the $47K mortgage plus 10% interest from the Mayor, Paul Vagianos. The attorney representing the Billboard company is from Gail Price’s law firm. Seems pretty unethical that this is being entertained in the same town where everyone lives. Paul is a business owner who will benefit and Price is behind in property taxes (allegedly and really) so she needs to the money.

    2. Winograd only cares about the sports teams and getting the field over at Schedler. Although she does have a company that makes jewelry, maybe she would advertise or she could rent an ad and put her proclamation on trees after she cuts them all down.

  10. The billboard would make a great place for a future political advertisement.

  11. The village should put it up so they make the money.

    1. It’s on private property. Ridgewood won’t make a cent off of this. Just another eyesore with no benefit to the Village.

      1. IF approved the property should be re-assessed to include the value of the revenue of the billboard.

    2. You are ignorant, village makes zero

  12. Who cares, I live in the Old CC part of town. Light the f*cking place up for all I care.

    1. Until they decide to put one up on Lincoln? Maybe on the church property? Or a nice tall one on the railroad right of way along Goffle that would light up the CC section? ‘Cause once they approve this one, the precedent has been set and the PB would be hard pressed to say no. You’re lovely CC section goes right into the shitter.

    2. Sounds like you are a bigtime assclown about town. People like you who can spew venom are really awful. Do you hang out with the Mayor and the majority VC, maybe Gail Price? I think many assclowns about town, which include that bunch will have to remember that you probably have really bad Juju like they do and eventually people will avoid you and not eat in your restaurants or patron your businesses. Karma has a way of going around.

      1. Maybe karma is getting back to those of you who voted for this VC and will continue to do so no matter what because you can’t get away from your sick voting habits locally or nationally. That’s what Schedler people are getting to taste right now. That’s what those near valley hospital or valley site on N Maple will get to taste soon. Insanity is prevalent in this clown town.

    3. Okay CC, Quiet down, it is time for your martini. ring for your butler before it gets too late.

  13. That is a very dangerous location. As people mentioned at the meeting, there are people who come flying off of the state highway, Route 17 into the driveway of the building next door, where there are patients of the dentist, where there are many children as there is a Kumon School. It is shocking that this company, Outdoor Media LLC, can blatantly only care about their bottom line and not safety or residents and visitors or nearby businesses. Someone will get injured or killed and all they care about are their ads and making sure their nests are feathered. The property owner who wants this billboard is a trust and they do not live in Ridgewood. This should be a hard pass.

  14. Ridgewood is done, waiting till all the prices go up next year, the taxes, the parking authority, no one‘s gonna go to Ridgewood shop. You people are painting your ass in taxes. The whole town is overrated. Do yourself a favor move to another town, or better, yet move down south. It’s a no-brainer, any financial advice will tell you to do that. And if they don’t tell you that they should not be your financial advisor.

    1. Ridgewood’s been done for at least 2 decades…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *