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Digital Billboards Coming to Town as Tolleson Okays New Signs

More digital billboards will be sprouting along Interstate 10 through Tolleson after the town gave the signs the green light this week.

The town debated for more than a year whether to allow the billboards, which have popped up alongside freeways in other communities . Some residents believe the highly illuminated signs will be a distraction to drivers, a worry echoed across the country as the signs become more popular. A federal study into whether the signs are a hazard is expected to be complete by the end of next year.

Compared to trying to send a text message while driving, the flash of a digital billboard seems no more distracting than the limitless number of other shiny, moving objects outside of the vehicle. But it does seem like something about digital billboards brings out the ire in people. There's even a Web site devoted to making digital billboards extinct, though that goal seems about as achievable as unplugging the Internet. -- Ray Stern

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern