Looking for place to test-drive your sense of humor? State safety contest offers perfect stage.

Published 11:54 am Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Do you need an outlet for your creativity? A place to display your quick wit?

The Mississippi Department of Transportation wants to give you that opportunity.

MDOT wants your pun-laden, witty and clever safety messages to display on their traffic signs.

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“Last year, MDOT wanted to give everyone the opportunity to come up with their own fun safety messages; so we held a contest to find the best ones,” said Melinda McGrath, P.E., MDOT Executive Director. “It was such a success, there was no question we had to do another contest again this year, because an engaged public is a safe public.”

The safety messages displayed in three lines on signs over the state and interstate highways are part of an effort to encourage drivers to change their actions behind the wheel. More than 90 percent of vehicle crashes are caused by driver decisions — such as speeding, aggressive driving, distracted driving or impaired driving.

MDOT has opened its electronic doors for your submissions. Submit as many ideas as you like, but keep to the following guidelines:

  • The message must relate to traffic safety.
  • Signs can only accommodate three lines, 21 characters per line, including spaces.
  • Messages cannot include emojis, hashtags, phone numbers or website addresses.

Here are a few of the messages that have been displayed on MDOT’s signs over the past years:

“100 is the temperature, not the speed limit.”

“Don’t become a projective — buckle up.”

“Texting and driving leads to the dark side.”

“Cousin Eddie says Twitter’s full. Put down the phone.”

“Ho-Ho-Hold down your speed. Santa’s watching.”

Submit your entries at GoMDOT.com/MDOTcontest. MDOT will select the top five messages and each will be displayed on overhead signs along the state’s highways. Winning selections will also be posted on MDOT social media.

Contest deadline is June 11.

In addition to the contest, MDOT wants COVID-19 safety messages. The best messages will be posted as they come in, and the top five overall safety messages will be announced at a later date.