Thanks to enormous public participation, TDOT has selected five winning messages for the first ever Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Nearly 3,400 message entries were submitted last month. Over the last two weeks, more than 9,000 votes were cast for the 15 messages selected as finalists. The messages covered issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving.
The top five messages are:
- “Texting and driving? Oh cell no!”
- “Exit to text it.”
- “It’s Tennessee. Slow down and enjoy the view.”
- “Hey you! Yeah you! Hang up and drive!”
- “Tailgating is for the game, not the road.”
The winning messages will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year.
“This contest has been an overwhelming success,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “The purpose of the contest was to give the public a chance to partner with TDOT to raise safety awareness. So many great messages were received, and even if a submission didn’t win, there’s still a good chance that message may be seen from time to time on our DMS boards.”
A total of 163 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts.
In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.