But this time, they are pushing the plan with public safety.
It's all spelled out in an ordinance amendment that will be presented to the city council and county commission in August.
In that amendment, Fairway Outdoor Advertising hopes to upgrade up to 25 percent of its billboards to digital signs.
In exchange, the company would allow one free public service announcement for every six paid ads.
That is a prospect local law enforcers say could be a valuable tool in their arsenal.
"I think the chief of police would agree with me," Durham County Sherriff Worth Hill says. "We're looking at anything that can help us carry out our mission in the community."
Actually passing the amendment will likely be an uphill battle.
Polls earlier this year showed 72 percent of Durham residents oppose digital billboards.
Planners have repeatedly shut the idea down.