Citing an increase in the number of complaints about excessive light from billboards and neon signage, the Taipei City Department of Environmental Protection yesterday said it is revisiting a bill drafted in 2015 to regulate light pollution.
The department said in a news release that it has received 947 complaints about light pollution since 2004.
Of the complaints, 61 percent was about billboards and neon lights, 27 percent was related to searchlights and projection lights, and 5 percent was about lights from office and residential buildings, Air Quality and Noise Control Division head Yan Ling-chen (顏伶珍) said.
Daan District (大安) drew the largest number of complaints, 164, followed by Zhongshan District (中山) with 131 and 106 from Xinyi District (信義), Yan said.
Most of the complaints were filed by local residents, while others came from people passing through the areas, she said.
The bill was the first proposal to regulate light pollution in the nation when it was drafted in 2015.
The current draft stipulates that advertisement boards within city limits that are bigger than 25m2 can only be installed after the department’s committee approves.
Smaller billboards should keep their luminance below 300 candelas per square meter (cd/m2), while boards more than 25m2 should keep their luminance below 250 cd/m2, the draft states.
The use of sparkling boards will be prohibited between 10pm and 8am, the draft says.
Violators could face a maximum fine of NT$100,000, the bill states.
Before the new regulations take effect, the department would encourage advertisers to take preemptive actions on their own, such as reducing the luminance of their billboards, avoiding the use of sparkling images at night and shortening the duration that the advertisements are in place, Yan said.
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