On their way to the Girl’s State Basketball Tournament, visitors were greeted with messages from the Iowa DOT.
Virginia and Eugene Robinson caught the amount of traffic deaths. “47 deaths. There were 47,” said Virginia Robinson.
Travis Moen remembered the traffic safety message. “It said ‘not buckled.’ Then ‘seriously’, question mark,” said Moen.
The phrases are part of a DOT campaign to eliminate traffic deaths in the state.
Called “Message Monday”, the DOT begins the week with a 54 character message about speeding, distracted driving, seat belts, drunk driving, or drowsy driving.
“I don’t think it ever hurts to remind people of things like that,” said Robinson.
“I checked to make sure I had my seatbelt on,” said Jim Jorgensen, a visitor.
The DOT has already selected the next six months worth of messages.
Many of them come from the department’s Twitter and Facebook sites.
They are picked to coincide with holidays, seasons, and special events.
Officials say it’s hard to tell if these words are sinking in let alone if they’ve had an impact on reducing traffic deaths, but it appears people are at least remembering them.
“There was one telling you not to use your cruise control on icy roads,” Moen told Channel 13 News.
“It draws your attention to the signs as you go on the interstate,” said Penne Thieman, a visitor.
Raising awareness is a good start towards the ultimate goal.
“We were talking about how many more deaths there were than last week. That’s what we were concentrated on,” said Robinson.
The messages are displayed on 70 DOT billboards across the state.