I-17 101 traffic interchange

Your turn to write clever highway safety messages

Your turn to write clever highway safety messages

February 6, 2017

PHOENIX – Arizona, show us your creativity. It might save a life.

You've seen the quirky safety messages the Arizona Department of Transportation displays on overhead signs – remember “Hello from the other side, buckle up and stay alive” and “New year, new you, use your blinker”?

Now, ADOT is kicking off its Safety Message Contest, and the winning safety slogan will appear on signs statewide. Beginning today, safety messages can be submitted at azdot.gov/signcontest until Feb. 19.

ADOT began placing unconventional safety messages on overhead signs more than a year ago in an effort to kick-start a change in social acceptance of impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding, aggressive driving and other dangerous driving behaviors.

“At ADOT, we bring up the example of imagining someone walking into a preschool and lighting up a cigarette,” said Kevin Biesty, ADOT Deputy Director for Policy. “Forget that it’s illegal; it’s completely socially unacceptable. No one would ever even think to do that and if they did they’d be ostracized. That’s what we want to see happen to drivers that choose to make roads less safe for all of us. Tell them it’s not OK and it can’t happen anymore. We want to get to a point where impaired driving, distracted driving, speeding and aggressive driving are socially unacceptable and the messages ADOT displays on signs are a good way to start those conversations.”

Many of the messages ADOT displays on overhead boards relate to driver behaviors, which are among the leading factors in crashes that result in fatalities and serious injuries. Other messages remind motorists to “Move Over,” wear seat belts, look out for motorcycles and more.

When creating your messages – submit as many as you like! – follow these guidelines: 

  • Signs accommodate three lines and 18 characters, including spaces, per line
  • #Hashtags, phone numbers and website addresses are not allowed
  • Signs can’t accommodate emoji L

After Feb. 19, ADOT will review submissions and select 15 messages to advance to the next round. In March, we’ll post the finalists on our website and let the public decide the winner.

The winning message will appear on Dynamic Message Signs for two days in April.

We can’t wait to see what you come up with. Have fun and good luck!