[Ed. – I liked the menacing themes better. The truth about government is that it’s neither perky nor cute. Leave it that way.]
Can witty highway signs actually get motorists to drive more safely? The Iowa Department of Transportation says yes.
Since the messages began appearing two years ago, drivers have encountered such signs as “It’s all about the belt… the belt. Just click it” — a play on the pop song “All About That Bass.” Or “Not Buckled? You’re killing me, smalls.”
Close to Christmas one year, the signs displayed, “Santa’s coming. Have you been a good driver?” and for St. Patrick’s Day this year, “Don’t press your luck. No whammies!!”
New signs are posted every Monday, along with a year-to-date driving fatality count. The messages typically have to do with the five leading causes of vehicle deaths, such as driving distracted, drowsy or impaired, not wearing a seat belt and texting.
Paul Trombino, director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, asked his team to come up with catchy signs after seeing another state display fatality counts. His idea was to take it a step further by adding messages, so drivers would keep looking for more.
“I’ve asked them to be edgy, we try to be a little careful with that, but we want it to resonate with the public,” he said. “And I think it’s gotten good response because people look for it on Monday.”