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Feds Phase Out Witty Highway Safety Signs

The federal government is not amused by the witty highway safety messages that are posted on several highways across the country, including in Georgia, to prevent auto accidents.   The federal government has banned these humorous electronic safety messages across the country.

The Federal Highway Administration, which is in charge of regulating the nation’s massive network of highways, recently released a 1000 – page manual which also includes rules for the design of safety signs. The manual  makes it clear that it considers these messages to be distracting. Rather than preventing auto accidents, the FHA believes the messages make car accidents more likely.

Over the past few years, several states including Georgia, have attempted  to attract motorist  attention to highway safety issues by posting humorous safety messages that use wordplay,  a pun-friendly  style or references to pop culture to grab eyeballs.  Georgia transportation safety experts experimented with these witty signs, and in 2020, held a contest to find the most humorous sign ideas.  Winning entries included gems like You Look Great, But the Selfie Can Wait, Better Late Than Never, and our favorite If You Missed the Exit, It’s OK, We Made More Up Ahead, and began flashing on several highways after these were picked out of hundreds of entries.  Over the next few months, however, many of these messages may simply be phased out as a result of the new federal rules.

These types of witty signs are designed to appeal to and attract the attention of drivers who may be immune to regular traffic safety messages.  Motorists generally see messages like Don’t Drink And Drive or Wear Your Seatbelt, and many transportation safety experts believe that these messages are monotonous and that most motorists do not really register them. The Federal Highway Administration, however, believes that these types of humorous messages are actually counterproductive. They may grab the attention of drivers, but they might also be distracting to motorists, and could actually increase car accident risks.

The new manual clearly says that safety signs should be clear, direct, precise, legible and simple.  In other words, no more word play and humorous puns.  The highway safety signs should be used only to relay important information like traffic delays, weather conditions and warnings to motorists of accidents ahead.

As a responsible driver, do not rely on signs to follow basic safety advice like wearing seatbelts, staying within speed limits, or avoiding driving under the influence of alcohol. It is imperative to follow these rules at all times, regardless of whether you spot a witty sign or not.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Katz Personal Injury Lawyers are dedicated to the representation of persons who have suffered injuries in car accidents in the metro Atlanta region and across the state of Georgia.  If  you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a car accident, talk to a lawyer at our firm and discuss your legal options for a claim.  You may qualify for compensation that includes medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering and other types of damages.  Talk  to an attorney at our firm and discuss your case.  Initial  consultations are free.

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