ADOT reveals winners of Safety Message Contest

Messages focus on speeding and signaling

2022 Safety Message Contest WinnersPHOENIX – The votes are in and the winners of the Arizona Department of Transportation’s sixth Safety Message Contest have been chosen by the public! 

More than 3,000 votes were cast by the public for the 12 message finalists. The two winning traffic safety messages are:

DON’T HURRY

BE HAPPY

SIGNAL 2 THE LEFT

SIGNAL 2 THE RIGHT

MERGE REAL SMOOTH

“We saw thousands of contest entries and votes and it’s great to see Arizonans continuing to be engaged in conversations about traffic safety,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “That’s the purpose of the contest: increasing awareness about how we all can make better decisions when we’re behind the wheel. Think of others driving around you that want to get safely home to their loved ones.”

Authors of the winning messages were invited to ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center to type their winning traffic safety message into the Dynamic Message Sign system and see them go live via traffic cameras. Both winning messages will appear on overhead message boards statewide through the weekend.

Kristen Brown, a stay-at-home mom from Mesa, was inspired by Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 hit “Don’t Worry Be Happy.” She says her message is a simple one.

“Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going, turn on some good music, and enjoy the ride,” Brown said.

Lisa Hayes, a preschool teacher from Gilbert, found motivation for her message from another popular song, “Cha Cha Slide.”

“I look at the signs and they make me laugh or smile,” Hayes said. “I just want people to find the humor in the sign, something to smile about. I hope my sign helps people let others know their intentions while merging.”

More than 3,100 message contest entries were submitted to ADOT in June. Those entries were whittled down to 12 finalists and a public vote determined the winning messages. 

ADOT displays unconventional safety messages on overhead signs as part of an effort to change driver behavior and encourage motorists to make better decisions while driving. According to national statistics, driver behavior, like choosing to speed, driving distracted, impaired or reckless, plays a role in more than 90% of vehicle crashes.