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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 11, 2017 12:24 PM
From: Senator Andrew E. Dinniman
To: All Senate members
Subject: Guidelines for Placement of Electronic/Digital Billboards

I will soon re-introduce legislation (last session’s Senate Bill 1301) to establish guidelines for the placement of large electronic/digital billboards that are appearing along roadways and near neighborhoods throughout the Commonwealth.

These billboards are being proposed near residential neighborhoods, as well as some of the last bastions of agricultural and preserved open space. In recent years, I have been contacted by numerous constituents voicing concerns regarding light pollution, traffic safety and other issues related to such billboards.

My legislation would require municipalities to do the following when considering or approving proposed electronic/digital billboards:
  1. Consider concerns regarding a proposed digital/electronic billboard’s lighting impact on local residents and neighborhoods.
  2. Take into account the potential impact on open space and the preservation of open space view sheds. Many counties and the Commonwealth have spent millions to preserve open space.
  3. Consider potential loss of real estate property value on nearby homes and businesses.
  4. Consider a proposed digital/electronic billboard’s potential to distract drivers and the resulting impact on vehicle accidents rates on our roadways.

In addition, the legislation will change the permit process by which the Department of Transportation approves such “off-premise” signs, requiring the Department to include local municipalities in its site review process before granting any such permits on its rights of way.

The placement of billboards in a community is based on a 1971 statute, written many years before the technology creating electronic/digital billboards became a reality. This legislation is designed to have the law keep pace with technology and its impact on communities and the Commonwealth.

I hope you will join me in sponsoring this legislation to make sure the input of residents and local leaders is taken into consideration before these devices are placed in their neighborhoods and communities.

Introduced as SB893