Thursday, March 5, 2015

How blinding is too blinding? LED advertising in League City

When are we going to set reasonable limits on the likes of this nonsense?!
LED business advertising sign on Highway 3, looking southbound toward the Walker Street intersection in the background.  The picture is a bit blurry because my telephone could not cope with the over-exposure - it messed up its ability to focus.  And if this sign did that to my high-tech phone, what do you suppose it did to my geriatric eyeballs?  
How many million megawatts of illumination are we going to permit before we start realizing that these new-fangled signs are completely blinding to motorists?  Especially older motorists whose eyes are no longer capable of adjusting quickly?  For an average older adult in good health, I estimate that they would experience a minimum of 10 seconds of visual impairment because of this thing - at least 5 seconds of being blinded during the approach to the sign, and at least 5 more seconds of perceiving abnormal darkness as the age-stiffened pupils slowly re-expanded to a degree appropriate to functioning in ambient night lighting.  During that 10 second period of impaired vision at this location, their car would travel at least 500 feet, during which I believe they would be seeing much less than they rightfully ought to be.  And that is downright dangerous.

I am not in favor of increased government regulation such as sign illumination ordinances (hint, hint) but apparently common sense is not going to prevail on this one (I took this pic while walking my dog last night, but this is by no means the only such sign in League City). And apparently we haven't yet had time for case law to deal with it either.  I'm not an attorney, but if someone blinds me in the roadway such that I run over a pedestrian whom I am prevented from seeing as a result of that blinding, then I would guess that both I and the pedestrian have a claim against the person who inflicted the blinding.  And if we can't act on that claim, I'm guessing that subrogation might get the job done for us.
Google screengrab on the subject of subrogation.
But is it really necessary to let it get that far?  Why can we not, as a society, realize that certain things are just plain stupid and then decline to do those things in the first place?  Instead, apparently we have to escalate into Sign Wars until someone (a City Council maybe?) draws the line and says "when".  Ugh...

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