Around 3,000 roadside billboards around the country should disappear by Friday, though the actual removal process may take longer.
An amendment banning such advertising was passed a full five years ago. The unusually long period before implementation was intended to allow time for the resolution of potential disputes with operators.
The Ministry of Transport will take measures in case the new law is not followed. “The Ministry of Transport will inform the owners that the obligation to remove billboards have not been met. If they do not do so within fifteen days, all billboards will be covered. We will gradually remove them at the expense of the billboard owner,” said Transport Minister Dan Ťok to Česká Televize.
“Every ad that distracts drivers, or anything that distracts them from paying attention when they are at the wheel is harmful,” he added.
Given this process and the number of roadside billboards, it could be months before they are all gone.
If operators do not remove the billboards, they are liable to a fine up to three hundred thousand crowns.
There are around 25,000 billboards in total in the Czech Republic and those in cities and towns are not affected by the change.