Safety of Electronic Signs Considered in Possible Changes to Law


Take a trip through some of the Tri-State’s busiest areas and you’ll likely see the glow of electronic ads dotting the landscape.

It’s a product of the latest generation, and Evansville is trying to make the technology easier to use with a change in local law. But will it come at a cost of safety?

The Evansville-Vanderburgh Area Plan Commission votes in favor to change city ordinance, Thursday night, that would effectively cut out the middle man in approving electronic signs.

The current process requires a rezoning request, and steps through the plan commission, Board of Zoning Appeals, and City Council.

The amended ordinance would simply allow the Board of Zoning Appeals to review sign requests, if the petitioner has a special use permit.

Ron London, Executive Director of the Area Plan Commission, says there is safety considerations by the board in how distracting they may be to drivers. He says that standard will still be honored despite a simpler process.

London says many times a condition is placed on signs, particularly in school zones. “You want to make sure your eyesight is lower so you can also be looking at any pedestrian traffic,” he says.

Vanderburgh County will get a similar but slightly altered amendment that will go to the County Commission, London adds.

This amended ordinance, passed Thursday night, will go before City Council for final approval.

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