Behind the digital traffic signs

Published: Oct. 5, 2017 at 10:18 PM CDT
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Digital traffic signs have been around for nearly two decades, but Wisconsin's State Traffic Operation Center has found a new variety of ways to use the technology.

"One of our most recent was 'Camp in the woods, not the left lane,'" Brian DeNeve, Wisconsin State Traffic Operation Center representative said.

The past two years the department has added some humor to the digital message boards that greet drivers on busy roads. Some of the funny messages they have put up even reference Star Wars. "Trust the force, but always buckle up," was a message displayed on May 4.

DeNeve says they have received great feedback from people across Wisconsin on their safety messages. National and state statistics stand by that feedback. According to Wisconsin Department of Transportation, drivers are more likely to change their actions after reading the digital message boards.

"If we can come up with something that is creative, and also have an effective message, then maybe that's one way to reach somebody," DeNeve said.

The boards punny safety messages are appreciated by many, but the boards are mainly used to show driving times to locations, and to warn motorists of crashes ahead. They also have been used to put out statewide law enforcement messages for Silver and Amber alerts.

(Copyright 2017: WMTV)