Dull Road Signs in New Jersey? Fuhgeddaboudit!

Garden State drivers are often greeted with playful or snarky safety messages.

A digital sign on a Jersey highway that reads, “Texting and driving gives me the ick.”
A digital road sign spotted on the highway in Central Jersey. Photo: Emily Melvin

For the last couple of years, New Jerseyans have relished the playful, snarky safety messages plastered across digital road signs around the state by the New Jersey Department of Transportation (NJDOT).

Memorable signs have included, “Driving distracted? Fuhgeddaboudit”—channeling Jersey attitude—and “Texting and driving gives me the ick.” During the holidays, drivers saw, “Only Rudolph should be lit, drive high get DUI” and “Don’t be a Grinch, let them merge.” And around Valentine’s Day this year, a message read, “No Valentine? Your seatbelt will hold you.”

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Earlier this year, after some language from the Federal Highway Administration made it seem like these types of signs could be banned, officials clarified that they are okay as long as drivers can understand their overall safety messages. That said, officials did note that humorous messages could still potentially distract or confuse drivers.

“NJDOT’s messages are designed to deliver critical safety messages with a little humor to increase awareness and effectiveness,” NJDOT’s Steven Schapiro wrote in an email. “The Department strives to have the content of the messages understandable by all audiences. It’s about making sure people read them, remember them, and drive safely.”

Keep an eye out for fun road signs—just don’t look for too long!

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