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In this paper, we introduce a novel laser-based wide-area heads-up windshield display which is capable of actively interfacing with a human as part of a driver assistance system. The dynamic active display (DAD) is a unique prototype interface that presents safety-critical visual icons to the driver in a manner that minimizes the deviation of his or her gaze direction without adding to unnecessary visual clutter. As part of an automotive safety system, the DAD presents alerts in the field of view of the driver only if necessary, which is based upon the state and pose of the driver, vehicle, and environment. This paper examines the effectiveness of DAD through a comprehensive comparative experimental evaluation of a speed compliance driver assistance system, which is implemented on a vehicular test bed. Three different types of display protocols for assisting a driver to comply with speed limits are tested on actual roadways, and these are compared with a conventional dashboard display. Given the inclination, drivers who are given an overspeed warning alert reduced the time required to slow down to the speed limit by 38% (p < 0.01) as compared with the drivers not given the alert. Additionally, certain alerts decreased distraction levels by reducing the time spent looking away from the road by 63% (p < 0.01). Ultimately, these alerts demonstrate the utility and promise of the DAD system.