A Sign of the Times — Banning Humor on Billboards

The bureaucrats at the Federal Highway Administration have no sense of humor. They recently published a 1,100 page manual that covers everything you’d ever want to know about how signs and traffic control devices ought to be regulated.

The administration clearly does not like, and wants to ban, ordinary signs and overhead electronic signs that have obscure meanings, pop culture references or — gasp — have anything that is intended to be funny.

Apparently, it’s no laughing matter.

When relaying important information the manual says signs should quote, “be simple, direct, brief, legible and clear.” And this isn’t for just ordinary signs. Some states are using fun sayings and language to impart information on driver safety, weather conditions, crashes or traffic delays.

That could soon be a no-no.

The PIA Western Alliance state of Arizona has more than 300 electronic signs rising above state highways. For the last seven years Arizona’s Department of Transportation has been holding contests to get the funniest and most creative messages onto its signs. Last year they had 3,700 responses.

State Republican Representative David Cook says people love them and he doesn’t understand why the Federal Highway Administration is making such a fuss over them.

“The humor part of it, we kind of like,” he said. “I think in Arizona the majority of us do, if not all of us. Why are you trying to have the federal government come in and tell us what we can do in our own state? Prime example that the federal government is not focusing on what they need to be.”

Some other examples:

Massachusetts trying to convince motorists to signal has signs that say, “Use Yah Blinkah.”

Ohio says, “Visiting in-laws? Slow down, get there late.

Pennsylvania urges partiers on Independence Day to, “Don’t drive Star Spangled Hammered.

Source link: Associated Press — https://bit.ly/4bXXz9U

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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