Digital Billboards Could Line Texas Highways

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AUSTIN -- The billboard industry is squarely behind a proposal to allow digital billboards on Texas highways, but many members of the general public oppose the idea.

More than 750 people submitted comments to the Texas Department of Transportation during a three-month period ending earlier this month.

The Texas Transportation Commission will take up the proposal in February.

It would give cities authority over whether to allow the electronic, changeable billboards in their jurisdictions.

Critics of the signs say they would be ugly and distracting for drivers.

Supporters say they aren't a safety hazard and note the proposal's restrictions, such as rules against moving images or flashing lights on the signs.

The billboard industry also argues that the signs are good for businesses and the economy, and could be used to broadcast emergency messages.