ODOT Uses Pop Culture References to Keep Drivers Focused

Dec 30, 2019

If you’ve driven Ohio’s roads lately, you’ve probably noticed the big signs with cheeky sayings directed at drivers.

One sign reminds drivers life is “fra-gee-lay (fragile),” a reference to the movie, “A Christmas Story.” 

Even Santa needs to abide by traffic laws.
Credit Ohio Department of Transportation / State of Ohio

Another tells drivers to stay in the right lane unless passing because Santa needs the left lane.

Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks said there’s a simple reason for these signs. 

“It might seem flip but we have found that tying these messages to pop culture references makes people remember them.” Marchbanks said.

ODOT wants to ensure if Clark Griswold is driving Eddie to the middle of nowhere, he's driving sober.
Credit Ohio Department of Transportation / State of Ohio

A survey conducted by the Federal Highway Administration found that more than half of all respondents said messages like these caused them to change their driving. 

Traffic accidents are up in Ohio this year, so Marchbanks said the message boards will focus on urging drivers to drive sober without distractions.