From the state Department of Transportation:
“Eyes on the Road & Head out of Your Apps”, “Buckle Up Y’all, It’s the Law”, and “Ho Ho Hold Your Calls”.
Those are just a few of the overhead sign messages that have caught the attention of Tennessee motorists recently. Think you can come up with one better? For the first time, TDOT will offer drivers the chance to craft their own highway safety messages.
Beginning Monday Jan. 5, TDOT will begin taking entries for the Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Entries will be considered for five highway safety categories: seatbelt usage, impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, and aggressive driving.
“Love them or hate them, the messages we’ve been running have helped us accomplish our goal – to get the attention of drivers,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “We don’t want these important safety reminders to be so mundane that people stop noticing. This contest can start important conversations about driving behaviors, and maybe make people think about some of their own driving habits.”
Entering the contest is easy! Just go to TDOT’s website and click on “TDOT Safety Message Contest”. The contest web page will list the categories, and will allow you to type your message and submit your entry. The contest will run from Jan. 5-16.
TDOT will then give the public the opportunity to vote on the best messages, also via the TDOT website. The winning messages will then be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year.
Keep it clean! Any message containing profanity or lewd comments will be disqualified.
A total of 163 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts.
In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.