Brantford city hall

Brantford Coun. Jan Vanderstelt doesn’t want drivers to be blinded by the light.

So, he’s asking the city to develop regulations about digital and electronic advertising signs that are becoming more popular in the city.

“We’ve seen a number of digital signs pop up in recent years,” he told councillors at a recent committee meeting. “We need to bring some definition to what’s allowable and acceptable.”

Vanderstelt said concerns have been raised about the possibility of digital and electronic signs affecting driver attention through glare or distraction and potentially cause accidents.

The city’s current outdoor sign bylaw regulates the location of all signs in the city but doesn’t specifically define digital signs.

“There is a need to fully regulate all digital signs to ensure they are installed in a safe manner and distance from intersections so as not to be a distraction to the motoring public,” says a resolution introduced by Vanderstelt.

Coun. John Sless said the digital sign on Paris Road, near Brantford Bookworm, is so bright it can be “seen from the Lorne Bridge.”

Sless said there are several homes located on the same side as the sign and, in at least one home, it lit up a bedroom. He said without regulations, the city is “at the mercy” of the sign owner to “tone it down a bit.”

Mayor Kevin Davis said digital sign regulations are “long overdue.”

Coun. John Utley agreed, saying the days of ordinary billboards are numbered.

City staff plan to bring back to the community development committee next year a report amending the outdoor sign bylaw.

They have been directed to consult with stakeholders, including members of the Brantford Downtown Business Association, Chamber of Commerce, Brantford police and the Brant Brantford Six Nations Impaired and Distracted Driving Committee.

Source: The Brantford Expositor