Utah DOT: ‘Get your head out of your apps’

Updated Nov 13, 2015

1513448618748945702“Get your head out of your apps.”

That’s the playfully blunt message drivers in Utah got on Monday on electric highway signs in the state this week, according to KSL in Salt Lake City.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of highway deaths in the era of smartphones, and the Utah Department of Transportation isn’t holding back when it tells people they need to concentrate on the road and keep off their phones while driving.

UDOT first got into the creative sign game back on Memorial Day when it decided to use the electric signs to display unconventional messages warning drivers to be safe for the state’s 100 deadliest days for drivers. The department decided to keep the creative signs going each Monday with a campaign called Message Monday.

KSL reports the latest sign was said to be a bit controversial due to the pun on the common vulgar phrase, but it’s not the first time that particular phrasing has been used – the Iowa Department of Transportation used the phrase on signs a year ago.

“If you’re trying to make an impact, there may be a few people that don’t agree. We’re OK with that because the overall goal here is to get people talking,” UDOT spokesman John Gleason said. “We take a lighthearted approach, but make no mistake, this is a serious issue. People are dying on our roads, and we want to do something to get people’s attention, to get people talking.”

Gleason went on to say that the department isn’t trying to offend, but to try to get people talking about the message. And to that end, the latest sign has to be considered a success.

UDOT said Message Monday is supposed to remind drivers of the following:

  • Drive alert. Make sure you’ve had enough sleep before hitting the road.
  • Give the road your full, undivided attention. Put away any distractions, and ask that passengers help you to keep your attention on the road.
  • Never drive impaired—this includes alcohol, illicit drugs and even prescription or over-the-counter medications. Impaired driving is anything that inhibits your ability to drive safely.
  • Avoid aggressive driving. Aggressive driving means operating a vehicle in a way that endangers, or is likely to endanger, people or property.
  • Buckle up—no matter how short your trip. About half of Utah’s vehicle fatalities this year were not wearing seat belts at the time of their crash.