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Why Did Vermont Ban Billboards?

Why Did Vermont Ban Billboards?

In 1968, a law was enacted that makes Vermont one of the most unique states in the country concerning roadside scenery – there are no billboards. If you’ve ever driven through this beautiful state, you must have noticed the absence of these towering structures. But why did Vermont ban billboards? Is it because of aesthetic reasons, safety, or something else? In this article, we dive deep into the reasons that led to this significant decision, exploring how it has impacted Vermont and its residents.

Table of Contents

  1. A Step Towards Natural Beauty
  2. Safety Concerns
  3. The Economic Impact
  4. The Current Scenario
  5. Conclusion

A Step Towards Natural Beauty

The primary reason for the billboard ban was to preserve the natural beauty of Vermont. In the late 1960s, the state government realized that the increasing number of billboards was becoming an eyesore. They were cluttering the landscape, blocking the scenic views that Vermont is famed for. It’s hard to enjoy the lush greenery, rolling hills, and picturesque landscapes when your view is obstructed by large advertisements. The “Vermont Billboard Law” was hence enacted to ensure that residents and visitors alike could enjoy the state’s pastoral and scenic beauty uninterrupted.

Safety Concerns

Safety was another critical factor that influenced the decision to ban billboards in Vermont. These large structures, often brightly lit and with bold graphics, were a distraction to drivers. Road safety is paramount, and anything that detracts a driver’s attention from the road can lead to accidents. Vermont took a proactive step to minimize distractions and make the roads safer for everyone. Although it was a decision that didn’t sit well with advertisers, it was a bold step towards prioritizing the safety of the public.

The Economic Impact

Many expected that the absence of billboards would hurt the state’s economy. However, Vermont proved that a state could flourish without relying on these giant advertisements. The ban encouraged creativity and innovation in advertising. Businesses started focusing more on word-of-mouth, local newspapers, and, in the digital age, online marketing. Vermont’s decision to prioritize its natural beauty also increased tourism. People are drawn to the state to experience its unspoiled landscapes, proving that natural beauty can be a significant asset.

The Current Scenario

More than five decades have passed since Vermont decided to say no to billboards. The state remains a testament to the idea that natural beauty is a commodity worth preserving. Despite the initial concerns, the economy has thrived, and Vermont continues to be a top destination for those seeking an escape into nature. The question “Why did Vermont ban billboards?” thus finds its answer in the state’s commitment to preserving its scenic vistas, ensuring road safety, and nurturing a thriving, sustainable economy without these advertisements.


The decision to ban billboards is embedded in Vermont’s identity. It reflects a commitment to preserving the environment, prioritizing safety, and fostering innovative advertising strategies. The absence of billboards has set Vermont apart, drawing in visitors intrigued by the state’s unblemished landscapes and leading to a different, yet thriving, advertising landscape. Why did Vermont ban billboards? Because it chose a path less traveled – one of scenic beauty, safety, and innovation in advertising that continues to define the state’s unique character to this day.

So, the next time you find yourself wandering amidst the natural allure of Vermont, take a moment to appreciate the uninterrupted views – it’s a visual experience that has been carefully preserved for the enjoyment of generations to come.