Should signs be serious or silly?
Should signs be serious or silly? An electronic highway sign is seen on Interstate 93 in Boston (AP photos)
Should signs be serious or silly?
Lexile: 1180L

Assign to Google Classroom

The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.

The contest was inspired by a message posted on highways in May that encouraged drivers to "Use Yah Blinkah" or turn signal when changing lanes.

The winners were "Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt," to encourage belt use, submitted by The Parent's Supervised Driving Program team of Safe Roads Alliance; "Keep Calm and Drive On," to prevent road rage, submitted by Patrick Casey of Boston; and "Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait," to fight distracted driving, submitted by Justin Lovell of Whitman.

The winners get gift cards from gas stations and restaurants.

More than 500 entries were received.

"We received some very creative, thoughtful and funny message suggestions," Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said.

The winning messages will be displayed on hundreds of message boards during busy travel periods in the coming months.

"With the 'Use Yah Blinkah' sign, we got people's attention," said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. "By changing the routine messages, we hope to bring a new light to important public safety messages that sometimes may be overlooked."

Critical thinking challenge: How would signs need to be rewritten to get extra attention where you live?

Source URL:

Filed Under:  
Assigned 14 times

  • hannahsmith
    8/18/2014 - 08:24 a.m.

    Using silly road signs is a great way to get people to follow the rules of the road. People need to be reminded to stay safe, wear their seat belt, and put their phones down while behind the wheel. In fact, they might help catch the attention of drivers more, and remind them to drive safe. however, They could possibly be too distracting. Its possible that a driver could be busy reading the sign and run off the road.

    • Damikus123
      8/19/2014 - 08:32 a.m.

      At all times signs on main highways shall be used seriously not silly because those signs are supposed to sometimes lead the way for drivers..Say for instance what if someone is lost, how would they find there way back to the right destination? Well if there was a serious sign could probably guide them to that right place. Serious signs also tell you whats ahead and wich way to go .

  • TeddyM.
    8/20/2014 - 08:21 a.m.

    This was a good idea on making road signs fun yet, truthfull.I believe that you could use any type of sign, funny or not, as long as it gets the point across.One thing I like about this is how a lot of people submitted to this and there was a lot.The thing I did not really like was the fact that these signs can be distracting and cause accidents.

  • madisong-Sch
    8/20/2014 - 11:37 a.m.

    I think that making the signs fun to read will make the people want to read them and want to do what it says. LIke use yah blinkah, would make them want to use there blinkers more because its fun to say.

  • Alister0206
    8/21/2014 - 02:45 p.m.

    People think that flashing message borads should be funny I find that interseting because people who are driveing on busy highways should get a little happines and funny in them.

  • ConnerS-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 10:37 a.m.

    This is actually a very good idea because it could get the attention of more people. The phrase "use your blinker" can get very dull for people who drive a lot. Even though it is very important to use your blinker and other signals when you're changing lanes, I feel that "use yah blinka" could get more attention and get more people to remember it than the duller version of it.

  • PeytonS-Moo
    8/22/2014 - 10:40 a.m.

    These signs are really creative. Something amusing like this can brighten your day and encourage drivers to wear their seat belts, use blinkers, etc. Plus all the 'boring' signs don't always catch people's attention.

  • bethany3-Bor
    8/29/2014 - 10:54 a.m.

    I think that the signs are a smart idea! If you put those some what humerous and cheesy phrases on those signs it will get people thinking on the importance of being in the rode and being safe. Like "the OMGS" and LOLS" can wait thats smart because it can and people need to learn that the phone calls and alerts can wait and if you try to text you can get hurt like bit just a little but death but i think they are smart to do that because you need to pay attention to the people around you and their lives because your foolish acts can impact other people on the rode doing what they are told

  • SAmber-Cas
    9/10/2014 - 04:06 p.m.

    I believe this is a good idea. It makes people read the signs and pay attention to what is being displayed. Although there are some downfalls to this. It is or can be distracting to the drivers on the road. Also, they might not take it seriously because it's not written seriously. They'll just laugh and continue but, they can also have the same reaction to serious signs. I do think it can change the way people think of it and possibly have a good effect on us. I don't think it would hurt to try the funny signs. There is always a possibility that it will work and help us drive safely.

  • ValerieF-Bri
    9/17/2014 - 03:57 p.m.

    I have to agree with the idea that silly signs are useful and should be allowed in major cities. The main reason for this is that silly signs get peoples attention and stick in the person's mind for longer than a boring "Remember to use your signals" or "Seat-belts are important" and, as such, convey the message more efficiently. Because of this, I believe that they should not only be permitted, but encouraged.

Leave a comment
Leave a comment