Knox County commissioners may pull plug on digital billboards

Knox County commissioners may pull plug on digital billboards

Posted:
Knox County commissioners will consider a permanent ban on all new digital billboards Monday. Knox County commissioners will consider a permanent ban on all new digital billboards Monday.
Commissioner Richard Briggs is proposing the ordinance. Commissioner Richard Briggs is proposing the ordinance.
"At night they get very bright and they're very distracting especially when they change," said Knox County driver. "At night they get very bright and they're very distracting especially when they change," said Knox County driver.

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knox County commissioners will consider a permanent ban on all new digital billboards at its meeting Monday afternoon.

Many more of the vibrant advertisements have been appearing along Knox County highways and interstates since the county's first digital billboard was installed on Chapman Highway in 2008.

Some residents question whether the billboards pollute the skyline and are too distracting.

"At night they get very bright and they're very distracting, especially when they change. And when they change to the different ones, they catch your eye and you take your eyes off the road," Knox County driver Erin Williams said.

Commissioner Richard Briggs is proposing the ordinance. He had planned to ban all new billboards, but says he scaled down his plan after speaking with fellow commissioners and the business community.

"What I keep hearing from commissioners and the billboard industry is let's get together, let's reach a compromise, let's see if we can't get together and regulate and not ban," Briggs said.

Advertising executive Mike Fleming says technology is changing and billboard companies need to be able to adapt. He says digital billboards can actually reduce the number of billboards because multiple companies can rotate their ads on one billboard.

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