Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

MnDOT adds clever messages to highway signs to get your attention

It's not just you – the signs are more charming than usual.
Author:

If the road signs seem a bit wittier than usual, it's because Minnesota officials are trying to bring attention to safe driving.

According to a news release, the signs are part of a new campaign called "Message Monday" by Toward Zero Deaths (the state's traffic safety program).

The electronic signs (which are located above freeways and other high-traffic roads) have already been used to display messages about road conditions, speed limits, construction work, and things like extra law enforcement. But these new messages are meant to start conversations.

The first Message Monday (in the photo above) debuted Nov. 14 – it said "Don't fumble your life away. Buckle up!"

Why do we need them?

Traffic fatalities have not gone down significantly in the past five years, MnDOT said, and the department wants to change that. The signs are a new and innovative way to educate motorists on traffic safety risks like speeding, drunk driving, distractions, and aggressive behavior.

But do signs really make a difference? The department says the new signs could possibly help reduce fatalities and serious injuries – they pointed to a recent survey from the U.S. Department of Transportation which found that 45 to 68 percent of motorists indicated that safety-related messages caused changes in their driving behavior.

“We believe the signs have potential to change driver behavior while they are driving," Jay Hietpas, MnDOT state traffic engineer and cochair of the TZD leadership committee said in the release.

MnDOT joins a growing number of states like Iowa that have added a bit of humor to their signs in hopes of changing risky behaviors behind the wheel.

There are 180 of these signs in the Twin Cities’ Metro area and 100 in Greater Minnesota, the department says. About half of them in the cities will display Monday Messages during off-peak hours on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and after 7 p.m. on roadways with higher traffic. In other locations, the messages will be displayed between midnight and noon.

Some future ones you might see include “Driving drowsy could wreck the holidays,” “Friends don’t text friends who are driving,” and “Turn signals – the original instant message.”

MnDOT plans to use references from movies, TV shows, music and pop culture, the Star Tribune said, and motorists will be able to submit suggestions.

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

Related

Fall is a deadly time for pedestrians, MnDOT says

It's the worst season for pedestrians, because there are less hours of daylight.

MnDOT: Say goodbye to hundreds of construction projects – for now

It's almost time to start complaining about winter driving.

Don't drive like an idiot (and other things to remember when roads are icy)

Here are 4 things you should keep in mind while behind the wheel.

Highway 169 will be closing for 9 months ... sometime soon

It won't close Jan. 10 like initially planned. It'll close Jan. 17.

Ride your bike all the way to Canada on the new North Star Route

It would take the average cyclist more than 21 hours to bike the entire thing.

Ride your bike all the way to Canada on the new North Star Route

It would take the average cyclist more than 21 hours to bike the entire thing.

Buckle up every time – 'Click It or Ticket' is back

You should buckle up every time to avoid a ticket, but more importantly, to save a life.

Out drinking? Just leave your car overnight, you'll get a nice note (and no DWI)

If you drive somewhere and have a few drinks, just leave your car where it's at. You can always get it in the morning.