NJ Highway Signs Ordered to Be Taken Down by Feds – NBC New York

Some new digital signs on New Jersey roads and highways were designed to grab attention, but the snarky messages got the wrong kind of attention: from the federal government.

The messages were short but effective, succinctly telling drivers to pay attention, slow down, not litter and more:

  • “We’ll be blunt, don’t drive high”
  • “Hold on to your butts. Help prevent forest fires” (a nice nod to “Jurassic Park”)
  • “Hocus Pocus drive with focus”
  • “Don’t cruise when boozed”
  • “Slow down. This ain’t Thunder Road”
  • “Nice car, did it come with a turn signal?”
  • “Get your head out of your apps”
  • “Be a dear, what for wildlife”

Sure, most were pretty cheesy, but some drivers seemed to enjoy them. And as one said, “They’re corny, but I’ve read them. The fact that I read them means they are effective.”

Well it seems the federal government either didn’t agree or didn’t appreciate the rhymes, jokes and puns. The Federal Highway Administration is telling the state Department of Transportation to take the witticisms down from its highway message boards scattered across the state.

It’s reasoning was posted in a manual to states: The messages rely on hidden meanings or cultural knowledge to understand, thus tend to diminish respect because of its tone and similarity to advertising.

Some drivers agreed, saying that anything taking people’s eyes off the roads wasn’t a good thing.

While the feds can nix the sassy signs, they can’t regulate the DOT’s Twitter feed, which is still showing there’s room for humor. The NJ Parkway and NJ Turnpike never used the signs, but other highways did.

The state had no comment on the feds’ veto, other than to say it was trying to be creative in order to catch peoples attention with these cutesy, yes, maybe corny messages. But it still wants drivers to be as safe as cane be, for themselves and for others.

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