Many billboards in Baton Rouge are of trial attorneys wanting motorists to call them if involved in an accident, but most of the time those billboards include images of 18-wheelers.
House Concurrent Resolution No.4 was proposed to the House Transportation Committee by Representative Jack McFarland to put a cap on billboards.
McFarland says his main objective on the ban was to change how the billboards are conveyed to motorists.
“We wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the messages. The repetitive messages. The thoughts it puts into people’s minds and the damage it’s done not only to one industry but the damage it’s done to the entire state,” says McFarland.
Truck drivers say advertising plays a big role in their business.
“I have my drivers on the road with the possibility of somebody hitting them looking at a billboard and then suing me because of it. That’s part of our problem,” says Louisiana Loggers Association member Josh McAllister.
Distracted driving was a hot topic during the debate, with several committee members speaking on other factors that causes distraction..
“I never saw billboards as a distraction. In fact, they’re actually kind of helpful probably more so than the iPhone,” says Representative Mark Wright.
While the resolution did not pass, truck drivers see the conversation taking shape to bring change.
“This has never been an attack against business or industry. We’re just a small business trying to survive in the state,” McAllister says.
Lamar Advertising spoke during the meeting and felt caught in the middle and the real problem is between trial attorneys and trucking companies.
Senate Bill 211 has similar guidelines, but is still has to be taken up in committee.