LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) - The Arkansas Dept. of Transportation maintains 48 message boards across the state designed to alert drivers to traffic or construction while also showing short safety messages.
But now the Arkansas Department of Transportation has started adding some sass to the safety, with messages designed to get you to chuckle as you buckle up.
“We’re having a little fun with the message boards,” said Danny Straessle, Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department spokesperson. “We trying a couple messages that a lot of other states D.O.T.'s have had a lot of success with.”
The Department hasn’t hired a bunch of comedy writers to come up with lines like “Drive Hammered, Get Nailed.” They are relying on dozens of lines already tested on boards in other parts of the country. Examples include Oklahoma with boards asking, "Oh say can you see, when you're looking at your phone?” Wisconsin drivers got advice like, "Trust the Force, but Always Buckle Up,” and "Drive Now, Catch Pokemon Later.”
ARDOT freely admitted they are stealing the material and just now getting in on the joke after posting, "Don't drive distracted...squirrel" on Friday. “Distracted driving is at an all-time high, so it was a very, very good message,” Straessle said. The ARDOT jokesters have dozens of other lines ready to roll out with similar messages, all ahead of some major upgrades to their operation.
“In a nutshell, think of mission control at NASA,” Straessle said while showing off the future home of a high-tech Traffic Management Center. “It’s a big room, multiple consoles and large monitors on the wall where you can monitor what's going on at any given time,” he added.
They hope it will streamline a process where information about traffic is seen on a remote camera, relayed to iDriveArkansas with a specific message pushed to a message board in the area. While they wait, the engineers of "Highway HA-HA" are working on a basic comedy trait.
“We're already getting a mixed reaction because some of the messages are alternating, people are driving by and only seeing half of the message so we're having to work on the timing,” said Straessle.