NJ Sen. Cory Booker to The Feds: “Please Explain” – WHY Did They Make NJDOT Change the Clever Signs?
You may have seen that recently, The Federal Highway Administration ordered NJDOT to revert their snarky, funny roadway safety messages back to standard messaging.
I was just as bummed as you were! Some of the clever messaging included signs like:
“Hold on to your butts — help prevent forest fires”
“Slow down. This ain’t Thunder Road"
"Only ziti should be baked"
"Hocus Pocus, Drive with Focus"
"Get Your Head Out of Your App"
"We'll be blunt: Don't drive high"
"Nice car. Does it have turn signals?"
These were so great! They safely caught our attention, made us aware of our driving flaws, and gave a nice little laugh during our mundane commutes. So when the FHWA told NJDOT to change them, we had a collective "WTH??" reaction.
The real kicker was... they didn't even give a reason! Like when your mom says "Because I said so!"
Well that's not good enough for a lot of us, including NJ Sen. Cory Booker.
In a letter sent by Booker and other N.J. lawmakers, they expressed concerns to the FHWA about their decision to order NJDOT to remove the clever messages, and are urging them to give an actual explanation.
In a letter to the FHWA Booker writes:
“Given the positive reception around these recent safety efforts in New Jersey, I am very concerned to have learned of FHWA’s decision to block the use of these signs earlier this week without providing NJDOT with a comprehensive, data-driven justification for the decision."
He goes on to say that the clever safety signs have been very successful in getting our attention, whilst making us more mindful of our dangerous driving habits:
"I understand that FHWA requires roadway signs to command the attention of the motorist and convey a simple clear meaning. The recent campaign in New Jersey to deliver creative, short, humorous, and attention-grabbing messages seems to be an absolutely ideal way to raise awareness around safety and potentially save lives.”
You can read the full text HERE.
I, for one, am very interested in seeing what they have to say. Surely the pros outweigh the cons. If we can refrain from stopping to take pictures of the signs, then there's no reason we shouldn't have them, right?