• July 13th, 2015

Highway agencies are increasingly using humor and wit to try to get people to drive safer.

Utah transportation officials call the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day the state’s “100 Deadliest Days,” because of a surge in highway deaths that regularly occur when residents take summer trips. The fatality rate is 35 percent higher during that time than during the rest of the year.

Utah officials are also worried because the number of traffic fatalities in the state, which hit the lowest point in half a century in 2012, has been inching up for the last two and a half years. So this summer, Utah will begin a tactic that’s increasingly popular among transportation agencies: Using electronic highway signs to display catchy, and sometimes even funny, messages to make motorists focus on highway safety.

“The new safety messages have only been displayed along our roadways for about two and a half months, so it’s too soon to have any measurable results,” said spokesman Dan Rozek. “But the contest in and of itself was successful in focusing media and public attention on the public safety challenges.”

Credit: Daniel C. Vock, Governing.com