The Georgia Department of Transportation announced the winners of a contest to compose new highway safety messages.

‘Driving half lit is not very bright’ - new safety messages for Georgia highways

For years you’ve seen safety message like “click it or ticket” and “don’t drink and drive” on digital signs along Georgia highways. But the Georgia Department of Transportation has a fresh batch of messages, thanks to a contest that challenged residents to write their own.

The department received hundreds of responses in five categories: general safety, distracted driving, impaired driving, seat belt use and work zone safety. On Thursday GDOT announced the winners. 

Our favorites? “If you miss your exit it’s okay, we made more up ahead” and “If you don’t wear a seat belt, please be an organ donor.” But judge for yourself. Here are the messages that began flashing on signs across Georgia Thursday: 

General Safety 

• First Place: IF YOU MISS YOUR EXIT ITS OKAY, WE MADE MORE UP AHEAD 

• Second Place: BETTER LATE THAN NEVER 

• Third Place (tie): DRIVE LIKE YOUR MOMMA IS WATCHIN'; YOU ARE ALLOWED TO USE TURN SIGNALS, WE CHECKED and DRIVE SAFELY OR WE CALL YOUR MOTHER 

Distracted Driving 

• First Place (tie): YOU LOOK GREAT BUT THE SELFIE CAN WAIT and LOOKING AT THE ROAD IS A GREAT WAY TO STAY ON IT 

• Second Place: NO ONE WANTS TO SEE TRAFFIC ON SNAPCHAT, BRENDA 

• Third Place: POP QUIZ, WHAT IS THE SPEED LIMIT ON THIS ROAD? 

Impaired Driving (many of the messages submitted were seasonal and can be used during the holidays): 

• First Place: DRIVING HALF LIT IS NOT VERY BRIGHT 

• Second Place: DON'T SPEND THE NEW YEAR IN JAIL, PARTY RESPONSIBLY 

• Third Place (tie): DON'T BE A TURKEY AND DRIVE BASTED, and THE PARTY SHOULD BE LIT NOT YOU, BRING IN THE NEW YEAR SAFE 

Seat belt 

• First Place (tie): THIS IS A SIGN YOU SHOULD BUCKLE UP and IF YOU DON'T WEAR A SEAT BELT, PLEASE BE AN ORGAN DONOR 

• Second Place: WEARING A SEAT BELT MAKES YOU LOOK THINNER 

• Third Place (tie): HERE IS THE TEA SIS, WE CAN SEE YOU SO BUCKLE UP and SEAT BELTS ARE IN, EVERYBODY IS WEARING THEM 

Work Zone Safety 

• First Place: LOOK LEFT, LOOK RIGHT, KEEP WORKERS IN SIGHT 

• Second Place: WORK ZONE, SLOW DOWN, WORKERS HAVE FAMILIES THAT WANT THEM AROUND 

• Third Place (tie): WORK ZONES MATTER SO DO THE PEOPLE IN THEM, and AVOID DESTRUCTION MIND THE CONSTRUCTION

The agency received many more submissions, and some of those may also appear on highway signs. But not all of them were suitable for display.

“We had a lot of them we probably couldn’t show you,” GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry told the State Transportation Board Thursday. “They were funny - ha ha.”

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About the Author

David Wickert
David Wickert
David Wickert writes about transportation issues for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He previously worked for newspapers in Washington state, Illinois...
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