Q&AZ: Who Does Those Funny Electronic Signs About Arizona Highway Conditions?
While making your way to work or sitting in traffic you may have noticed some quirky safety messages along Arizona’s interstates. Through our Q&AZ reporting project, one listener asked : “Who does those funny electronic signs. Is it one person or a team?”
The Arizona Department of Transportation uses electronic signs to post safety messages — with a twist. They range from a play on a popular song like “Hello from the other side, buckle up and stay alive” to a reference to an upcoming holiday like “He sees you when you’re speeding.”
ADOT’s Doug Pacey puts a calendar together each year with upcoming events and movie releases for inspiration. Then he and other team members brainstorm ideas and have them approved by higher-ups.
One of their most popular messages came on New Year’s Day 2017.
“That message said 'New Year, New You. Use your blinker,'" Pacey said. "We post all our messages on social media and this message was shared 137,000 times and reached I think it was 19 million people.”
And that isn’t the only message to get a lot of attention. Some of ADOT’s witty warnings are posted in other states and others have been noticed by celebrities.
“When U2 was in town a few years ago they took a picture of one of our messages and they put it on their social media," Pacey said. "Shania Twain and Cher they’ve done the same thing, Lin-Manuel Miranda when Hamilton was playing at Gammage.”
ADOT also holds contests each spring where drivers can submit their own cautionary comedy.