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Has any one ever noticed the signs? Not like “I Saw the Sign” by Ace of Base but the IDOT message boards. If you haven’t noticed, the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) has become really clever with the messages they put on display to highway drivers. Hopefully this article will get you to notice them as I did starting on October 3rd. For people who aren’t "Mean Girls" fans, October 3rd may be insignificant to you.



However, for IDOT this was clearly a significant day to them.


I had a good laugh at this one. In fact, I had to do a double take. Did they really just do that? In the past, I knew these message boards existed. I had only seen messages like “don’t text and drive” or “slow down,” but I had never seen something like this before. This got me thinking! Who are the creative geniuses behind this and what will they come up with next?

Well, I’ll tell you.

Here’s another one from October 13th

Or from October 6th welcoming the US Women’s National Soccer Team

Or one from September 3rd when the Chicago Bears played the Packers at Soldier Field for the NFL opening game

IDOT just decided to create a lighter tone for the message boards back in 2018 but had no idea the impact they would have on actual drivers, according to a ABC7 news story. 

In fact the Traffic Systems Center Manager, Jeff Galas, was surprised that many drivers paid attention to the signs in general. They extended they’re creative juices by creating a contest for their IDOT message boards, which concluded in April of this year. The winner’s message was rolled out some time during the year. The winner also received a personalized sign of their own, and social media mentions. I wish I would have known about this because I definitely would have submitted one! 

The winning messages were:

  1. Put Down the Phone and Nobody Gets Hurt
  2. Only the Casserole Should Be Baked, Don’t Drive High
  3. You Look So Cute In That Seatbelt
  4. Dashing Through the Snow? Slow Down!
  5. Drive Like Your Family Is In The Next Car
  6. Someone I Love Works On Roads. Slow In The Zone!

Expect to see these 6 crafty messages throughout the year as well as many more created by IDOT! This clever campaign to create memorable messages definitely got my attention and I hope it will ultimately grab yours the next time you see one.

I'm a senior at the University of Illinois at Chicago. My major is Communication with a concentration in public relations. Writing has always been my passion and HC lets me utilize my love for it. On the weekends you can find me binge watching Netflix shows like The Office or Parks and Rec. I'm also a sucker for Dunkin Donuts and cute puppies!
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