Billboard QR codes raise questions on area highways

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INDIANAPOLIS - Texting while driving is illegal in Indiana. But now there's a new potential distraction for drivers on the road.

Billboards with QR codes are popping up in central Indiana. One of the ads is along Interstate 69 south of 96th Street and another faces 82nd Street near Allisonville Road.

QR codes let smartphone users scan the signs and view additional information on the product from the Internet.

"Really. So your eyes are not only off the road, they're on your phone. Then you're trying to get that, too? Who is doing that?" said one motorist.

"I don't think it's a very good idea," said driver Julie Mangano.

It took an Eyewitness News intern 19 seconds just to fire up her smartphone app and scan the sign - and she wasn't behind the wheel. Almost 20 seconds of distracted driving is a worry for driving instructor Molly Gilmore.

"That's way too long to have your eyes off the road," she said. "When you have your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds, is all it takes. You could find yourself in a very serious accident."

"You could take your eyes off the road and somebody could crash into you," said student driver Nicole Glenn.

ClearChannel owns the billboards, but couldn't be reached for comment. The company says it will give a response in the future.

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