PHOTOS: Holiday-themed messages promote safe driving on Ohio highways

ODOT sign

Photo: The Ohio Department of Transportation

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – To help promote safe driving during the busy holiday travel season, the Ohio Department of Transportation is using humor to convey a serious message to drivers.

“The vast majority of traffic deaths in Ohio are completely preventable,” said ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks. “While we engineer roads to be as safe as possible, the one thing we cannot control is driver behavior. We’re urging drivers to put down the phone, buckle up, drive sober, and obey the speed limit.”

ODOT began using more than 130 message boards to display safety messages and relevant statistics in July of 2015.

The messages will only run when other important traffic, weather, or emergency messages are not being shown.

The holiday-themed messages will begin this weekend with a focus on distracted driving.

On Christmas Eve, drivers will be reminded to stay to the right unless passing slower traffic because “Santa needs the left lane tonight.”

On Christmas Day, the boards will display a message referencing the 1989 movie “Christmas Vacation” that targets impaired driving.

The Federal Highway Administration conducted a survey and found that more than half of all respondents indicated that seeing these messages in the past motivated them to change their driving.

If you have an idea for a good safety message, click here to submit it.

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