Is digital billboard too distracting for Chapman Hwy. drivers?

Is digital billboard too distracting for Chapman Hwy. drivers?

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From about a half mile away, you can't make out the billboard, but you can see the bright lights on the horizon. From about a half mile away, you can't make out the billboard, but you can see the bright lights on the horizon.
Once you get right up on it, Chapman Highway curves to the left. If your eyes are on the ads, they may not be on the cars around you. Once you get right up on it, Chapman Highway curves to the left. If your eyes are on the ads, they may not be on the cars around you.

By SHELBY BAKER
6 News Reporter

KNOX COUNTY (WATE) -- Lamar Advertising's latest digital billboard is getting a lot attention but not so much for its advertising. Some drivers say it's too distracting and its location next to Chapman Highway is too dangerous.

Chapman Highway has its share of accidents. For starters, there's no media and the majority of drivers don't necessarily go by the speed limit.

Some drivers say the new, flashy billboard, about a half mile from Ye Old Steakhouse at 6838 Chapman Highway, just adds to the problem.

"I have not come by this area in the nighttime, but just now, it was so bright it really caught your attention and it's on a curve to boot," Clay Poole says. 

The 6 News crew decided to test it for ourselves, starting at Ye Old Steakhouse.

From that distance, you can't make out the billboard, but you can see the bright lights on the horizon.

The sign really comes into focus as you make your way over the hill into Knoxville. Once you get right up on it, Chapman Highway curves to the left. If your eyes are on the ads, they may not be on the cars around you.

One driver isn't so sure the billboard is the safest marketing strategy, but he wasn't sold on it being a distraction either.

"It could possibly be but I don't think it's that big of an issue overall."

Another driver doesn't mind the new addition to the horizon. In fact, he'd like to see more of them. "It's an asset to the community and it shows up a lot of things to people coming in here who don't know what's its all about."

The billboard has only been up for a little over a week. There are several other digital billboards currently throughout East Tennessee.

Digital billboards are allowed in Knox County limits. Officials are still considering whether to allow them in the Knoxville city limits.

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