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Iowa DOT Signs With Snarky Messages Prompt Positive Response

The signs have been grabbing the attention of drivers across the state with messages ranging from sassy wordplay to parodies of popular songs.

Tue March 17, 2015 - National Edition
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The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1F34F9i ) that the signs garnered significant attention in October after
The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1F34F9i ) that the signs garnered significant attention in October after "Star Trek" actor George Takei shared an image of one on Facebook that said, "Get your head out of your apps."

SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) - Iowa Department of Transportation officials said they’re getting a good response from electronic signs that use sometimes snarky messages to promote driving safety.

The signs have been grabbing the attention of drivers across the state with messages ranging from sassy wordplay to parodies of popular songs, said Dakin Schultz, a traffic planner for the state DOT in Sioux City.

Iowa DOT spokeswoman Tracey Bramble said the messages are part of the so-called Zero Fatalities program that the department launched in June. She says the messages change every week and relate to one of five categories that decrease road safety or impair driving: speeding and aggressive, impaired, distracted, drowsy or seat belts.

"The approach we’re trying now seems to really be working," Bramble said. "We want them to work and (promote) talk around the water cooler."

Bramble said the DOT takes suggestions through social media from anyone who has an idea for a catchy phrase to flash across any of Iowa’s 90 permanent electronic signs.

This week’s message on a sign in Sioux City reads: "It’s all about the belt ... the belt ... just click it," in an ode to Meghan Trainor’s hit "All About That Bass." In early February, the same sign displayed: "Hey bobblehead, stop looking at your phone."

The Sioux City Journal reports (http://bit.ly/1F34F9i ) that the signs garnered significant attention in October after "Star Trek" actor George Takei shared an image of one on Facebook that said, "Get your head out of your apps." The post has more than 213,000 likes and over 48,000 shares.




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