Paper presented at the 22nd Annual Southern African Transport Conference 14 - 16 July 2003 "National issues affecting the movement of people and goods - strategic approaches", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT: Using the length of messages (number of bits) on advertisement content as the only quantitive criteria in the evaluation of the sign face was identified as a problem. Accident statistics were evaluated to determine the relationship between advertisements and increased accident rates and it was found that in general, advertisements result in higher accident rates. No accident data related to the content of advertisements was however found. This study investigates an analytical approach to evaluate the contents on advertisements, based on the characteristics of the driver. These characteristics include vision, reaction time, reading time, legibility factors, spare capacity to process information and selective attention. A parallel is drawn between a driver’s reading of road signs and the reading of outdoor advertisements. A concept of the critical zone - the 500m in front of an advertisement - is developed and the control of content in this zone is quantified. Rules are proposed to evaluate the content for advertisements that will hopefully provide a more practical, defendable approach to evaluate the content of outdoor advertisements.
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