Delaware’s highways, theoretically are easy to patrol because we are small.
There are only about three direct ways to enter Delaware from all sides, more if you know the backroads. The problem of patrolling the safety of the community then translates unfortunately into driver inattention, and DelDOT is on a constant mission to increase driver safety awareness, especially on your highways.
Sure, you’ve seen the gargantuan electronic signs gracing our lovely Coastal Highway, and where I-95 eventually lets us go north to PA, or south to MD. For those few miles – still in Delaware, there are more reminders you can’t miss, reminding you to slow down or buckle up or the obvious one, don’t drive under the influence. And definitely don’t text!
The signs supposedly keep you awake and make you a better driver.
Do you find them humorous or annoying? And do you think the messages have an impact on drivers’ behavior? Well, according to Del DOT, the feedback they have received from residents and visitors alike indicate – if nothing else – it gets you thinking and makes you realize just how important rules of the road are, for ALL of us, driver and passengers.
Let’s start with the serious messages that come across. There are warnings about weather conditions, traffic accidents ahead, delays and active construction. Perhaps the most important messages remind drivers of the number of traffic fatalities that happen that year to date, alarming us enough hopefully to stay alert, mind the laws, be kind to other drivers and don’t speed, for example.
That certainly continues. But in 2017, DelDOT got a bit creative and decided to make the messages clever and humorous. DelDOT spokespersons ever since have all said that the suggestion came from within their ranks (not from the top), and they gave it a try with immediate positive feedback from the public. So far there have been over 200 “pun” messages, with countless viewers.
DelDOT’s Facebook page began to get positive feedback from Delaware residents immediately. Some people have even submitted their own suggested messages. What fantastic PR it has created! Instead of the same old, same old statistics and warnings, they’ve added a twist.
Here are some of the more notable ones.
- Camp in our state parks, not in the left lane.
- Don’t fly to the airport.
- That seatbelt looks good on you.
- Who ya gonna call? No one. You’re driving.
- Hang up and slow down. Your kids are expecting you.
- Buckle up and hang up.
- Exit B4U TXT it.
- Did you miss your exit yet?
- Only reindeer can fly.
- What’s your hurry?
And perhaps the most popular has been:
- Keep your head out of your apps!
So, next time you drive by any of those electronic signs, remember that all of those messages are written with safety in mind. After all, cars and trucks are pretty much speeding bullets that require astute operation.
Stay safe out there, and smile when you see a good sign.
(Pics from www.delawareonline.com)