Federal Highway Administration gives digital billboards the green light Anywhere

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, the Federal Highway Administration issued clear guidance authorizing digital billboards. The four-page document is signed by FHWA associate administrator for planning, environment and realty Gloria M. Shepherd.

A portion of the memo reads: “Proposed laws, regulations, and procedures that would allow permitting CEVMS (commercial electronic variable message signs) subject to acceptable criteria do not violate a prohibition against intermittent’ or flashing’ or moving’ lights as those terms are used in the various FSAs (federal-state agreements) that have been entered into during the 1960s and 1970s.”

These guidelines suggest display times between four and ten seconds with eight seconds as the recommended static dwell time. In regard to lighting, the memo said signs should be “not unreasonably bright for the safety of the motoring public.”

The recent, clearly worded FHWA guidance memo updates and clarifies a 1996 FHWA memo that said changeable message billboards are acceptable if allowed by states and the signs do not contain flashing, intermittent, or moving lights.


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