FHWA Discourages Whimsy Road Signs

Apr 8, 2024

An electronic highway sign on I-93 that caused some stir over the nature of road warnings that use humor to keep people safe.

It seems the era of chuckles and giggles on roadways is coming to an end, at least according to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The administrative juggernaut has green-lit a manual update, over a thousand pages long, that conspicuously squashes the use of light-hearted, electronic highway messages. Road signs have lost their whimsy, with the FHWA mandating a strict format of essential safety information, leaving no room for quips and pop-culture references that might distract drivers.

*Le sigh*

States like Massachusetts and Arizona had carved reputations with their offbeat, yet effective traffic safety advocacy via witty signage.

The argument is simple yet divisive: Is safety more about what you say or how attention-getting you make it? The jury’s still out, and until then, expect the freeways to be a touch less colorful.

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