National Road Agency; amending Billboard Regulations

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Transport

15 February 2000
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Meeting report

TRANSPORT PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
15 February 2000
NATIONAL ROAD AGENCY ON AMENDING BILLBOARD REGULATIONS

Documents handed out:
Outdoor Advertising (email
info@pmg.org.za for document)

SUMMARY
Mr J Ackerman of National Road Agency said any outdoor advertising has to strike a balance between commercial, environmental and road safety interests. The regulations will provide guidelines as to the size of signs, the size of lettering, total size of the message, position, lighting and colours of the signs. This will also apply to private owners of property advertising on property facing national roads.

A representative of the Automobile Association said they oppose advertising signs that spoil the natural beauty and those that compete with road signs, signals, markings. He pointed out that from accident reports nothing suggests that billboards are a contributing factor but he commended the regulations as a step in the right direction.

MINUTES
Mr J Cronin (Chairperson, ANC) noted that although outdoor advertising was being dealt with through regulations, it is a matter of national interest and thus the National Road Agency has been asked to address the Committee on it.

Mr J Ackerman of National Road Agency (NRA) said any outdoor advertising has to strike a balance between commerce, environment and road safety.
He mentioned that there are three types of landscapes in which advertising occurs: Natural landscapes such as national parks, game reserves, marine reserves which are under maximum control, Rural landscapes such as intensive agriculture, rural smallholdings and subsistence agriculture also under maximum control, Urban landscapes which are under either partial or minimum control. Urban areas under partial control include high and medium- density residential areas, residential areas with office and commercial encroachment, sports fields and commercial squares. Minimum control is exercised at central commercial districts, industrial areas, entertainment complexes and transport nodes.

Mr Ackerman said there would be guidelines as to the size of signs, the size of lettering, total size of the message, position, lighting and colours of the signs. When private owners of property wish to advertise on property facing national roads they would also have to follow these regulations with regard to number of words and size of the sign.

He envisages a partnership between the National Roads Agency and local authorities since they both play a role in road safety and economic development.

A representative of the Automobile Association said they oppose advertising signs that spoil the natural beauty and those that compete with road signs, signals, markings. He pointed out that from accident reports nothing suggests that billboards are a contributing factor but he commended the regulations as a step in the right direction.

Comments by members
Mr J Cronin asked whether the presentation was based on something "going on already".
Mr Ackerman said the presentation is based on proposed regulations.

Mr J Slabbert (IFP) asked to which Act were these amended regulations related.
Mr Ackerman replied that it was the South African National Roads Agency Monitor and the National Roads Act, 1998.

A committee member cited the interchangeable use of the terms billboards and advertising signs and wanted to know whether billboards or adverts in general were covered.
Mr Ackerman said that adverts in general were covered.

Mr Slabbert agreed that billboards are not known to cause accidents, he instead called for legislation that prohibits the use of cellular phones when a person is driving.

The Committee recommended that the proposed amended regulations should proceed.

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