The Utah Department of Transportation has devised a punny way of getting people to talk about road safety and cell phone use while driving - by posting slightly suggestive puns on electronic billboards along the roadway. Welcome to the age of memes and social media, America.

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According to NBC News, a recent message telling motorists to “Get your head out of your apps” is just one of many that are part of the Salt Lake City DOT’s “Message Monday” program to raise driver awareness and try to stir discussion about driver distractions.

Utah DOT spokesman John Gleason spoke to local radio station KSL to say:

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“We take a lighthearted approach, but make no mistake - this is a very serious issue. People are dying on our roads and we want to do something to get people’s attention, and to get people talking.”

Other punny sign messages have included:

  • “Steering wheel: not a hands free device.”
  • “Work-zone safety - we don’t speed through your office.”
  • “Control your fate, texting can wait.”
  • “That seat belt looks good on you.”
  • “Turn signals: the original instant message.”
  • and:

While many locals went to social media to praise the signs, this creativity is of course slightly alarming to some motorists who “understand the concern,” but don’t find it appropriate. 8% of motorists who took part in the local KSL radio Facebook poll found it offensive.

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I vote go for broke and put a sign up for those 8% saying “Get your head out of your ass.”


Contact the author at justin@jalopnik.com or @WestbrookTweets.