Digital distractions should be banned from roadways

They are everywhere, and they are causing serious problems for citizens of Wichita.

Digital billboards cause driving problems for everyone within sight of the obnoxious signage.

Such roadway blights are most prominently found at Speedy Cash payday advance centers. Those signs have the cute kangaroo jumping all over the screen, making it look like fun to spend money before a person’s paycheck is even written.

Aside from the obvious financial problems with utilizing such forms of quick cash, these signs are a nuisance, and the effects are felt on nearly every street.

Those stores are like weeds. They spring up with little warning, and nothing seems to be able to stop them from thriving.

They are a huge distraction to any driver.

The pulsating lights are suppose to attract the eye of motorists as they pass, but this is hazardous to not only the distracted driver but also others on the road at the same time.

In a time when citizens are urged not to talk on cell phones while driving due to the distracting nature, how is a flashy, electronic billboard any better?

The mayor of Atlanta, Shirley Franklin, saw the problem with these signs, and according to an Atlanta Business Chronicle article, she signed an executive order in December 2007 that banned the use of outdoor electronic signage until such devices can be regulated properly.

Granted, Wichita has also taken steps to keep the bright LED advertisements in line with a greater need for safety, but the problem is rapidly spreading.

Fast-food drive-in Sonic is also beginning to bring sparkle to signs at many of their eateries.

It’s getting ludicrous.

Emergency personnel are already stretched thin trying to cover cities with ever-growing populations. Factor in an increasing number of motor-vehicle accidents due to inattentive driving brought about by digital billboards, and one has to wonder why such advertising mediums would be permitted.

Someone is going to have to die in a fiery car crash before such loathsome advertising is halted for good.

Of course, the idea of the digital billboards is novel and worthy of praise for such innovation and creativity, but for how long should a product, even an ingenious one, be utilized if it is putting the lives of the target audience at risk?

That answer is quite simple — not long at all.

This is especially true for the billboards of the mobile variety.

Box trucks can be seen driving around the city displaying rolling messages on the sides of the cargo compartments.

These too are exceptionally distracting because they are so interesting and near to the viewer.

Drivers might stare at them trying to read the messages being displayed while simultaneously attempting to understand how the contraption really works.

Such thought processes create the perfect equation for disaster.


Electronic billboards, whether attached to the exterior of a building or scrolling on the side of a moving vehicle, need to be banned.

Doing so will save everyone from bodily harm derived from automobile accidents caused by distracting kangaroos on flashy digital billboards.

Thankfully such eyesores have not yet dominated nice, quiet communities.

 If and when that happens, the people need to rise up and give a resounding shout of opposition to even the mere thought of being visually attacked by the flashing signs.

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About toddvogts 833 Articles
Todd R. Vogts, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of media at Sterling College in Kansas. Previously, he taught yearbook, newspaper, newsmagazine, and online journalism in various Kansas high schools, and he ran a weekly newspaper in rural Kansas. He continues to freelance as a professional journalist from time to time. Also, Vogts is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), among others. He earned his Master Journalism Educator (MJE) certification from JEA in 2022. When he’s not teaching or writing, he runs his mobile disk jockey service and takes part in other entrepreneurial ventures. He can be reached at or via his website at