Outdoor Advertising Control
President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Highway Beautification Act, Public Law 89-285, on October 22, 1965. The first section of the law sets forth the basic program objectives: "The erection and maintenance of outdoor advertising signs, displays, and devices in areas adjacent to the Interstate System and the primary system should be controlled in order to protect the public investment in such highways, to promote the safety and recreational value of public travel, and to preserve natural beauty."
The law mandated State compliance and the development of standards for certain signs as well as the removal of nonconforming signs. Expeditious removal of illegal signs is required by Federal regulations.
- A History and Overview of the Federal Outdoor Advertising Control Program
- Conflict Assessment: Federal Outdoor Advertising Control Program (or PDF, 443KB)
- Destroyed Sign Guidance (or PDF, 76KB)
- Legal Opinion on the FHWA's Interpretation of 23 CFR § 750.708(b), Acceptance of State Zoning for Purposes of the Highway Beautification Act (or PDF, 229k)
- National Alliance of Highway Beautification Agencies (NAHBA)
- Outdoor Advertising - National Study
- Outdoor Advertising Nonconforming Sign Upgrade "Pilot" Project - Florida
- Outdoor Advertising - National Study
- Outdoor Advertising - State Study
- Outdoor Advertising Control Practices in Australia, Europe, and Japan
- Research Review of Potential Safety Effects of Electronic Bilboards on Driver Attention and Distraction
- The Possible Effects of Commercial Electronic Variable Message Signs (CEVMS) on Driver Attention and Distraction (or PDF, 446KB) - This February 2009 report reviewed research concerning the possible effects of CEVMS used for outdoor advertising on driver safety, including possible attention and distraction effects. The study identified and evaluated the most significant measures and issues involved, and developed research methods needed to secure reliable data information.
- CEVMS and Driver Visual Behavior Study - Peer Reviewed Report (or PDF, 1.6MB) - The study investigated the effects of CEVMS on driver visual behavior by using an instrumented vehicle with an eye tracking system. FHWA conducted carefully designed test runs in Reading, Pennsylvania, and Richmond, Virginia, with devices placed in the car to measure each driver's eye movements throughout the test runs.
This final report incorporates the study results, as well as the peer review comments.
- Announcement to Amend the Outdoor Advertising Federal/State Agreements
- Outdoor Advertising Control and Junkyard Control Video Framework -
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Office of Real Estate Services (HEPR) seeks to outline and create frameworks for two training videos: one for the Outdoor Advertising Control (OAC) program and one for the Junkyard Control program. FHWA is required (23 U.S.C. 131 and 136) to oversee state OAC and junkyard control programs to ensure the State Departments of Transportation (SDOTs) are providing effective oversight in these two programs. The many requirements of these programs can be confusing for those responsible for administering them. For this reason, FHWA believes SDOTs would benefit from having training videos that explain the requirements of each program. In order to prepare for video production, however, an outline and framework for the content that each video would present needs to be developed. The USDOT Volpe Center (Volpe), in coordination with HEPR, will create a framework for each of two training videos to be produced in the future. The effort must be completed by March 31, 2015.
- OAC Research: Urban Routes Study Identifying Fap 6/1/91 Urban Routes -
This research project will be used to map and conflate federal aid primary urban routes with the previously mapped federal aid rural routes. This data will be used to help Divisions and States provide more effective outdoor advertising control.