Driver training and education provider Drive Smarter is calling on advertisers to put road safety first and remove roadside billboards which it says are a danger to road safety.
The campaign comes as a set of large electronic billboards go live on the A40 to the west of London.
Drive Smarter operations manager Graham Griffiths says the signs exist purely to distract drivers, and are therefore pose an unacceptable risk to safety.
“Advertisers pay to communicate their message to as many people as possible, as cheaply as possible. So these billboards really need to distract us, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing their job,” he said.
When travelling at 50MPH, a one second glance at a billboard results in 22 metres of travel not seen by the driver. That increases to 27 metres at 60MPH.
“As driver we are constantly required to assess risks, predict the behaviour of other road users and make safety decisions based on the information available to us. It is unacceptable for advertisers to increase the risks we face by attempting to lure our eyes – and minds – away from the primary driving task.
“We believe it is vital for safer journeys to minimise all distractions – whether they are outside the car, inside the car or even inside the driver’s mind, and we believe fewer advertising billboards would certainly contribute to a safer road environment," Griffiths added.