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GDOT is asking the public to write Atlanta’s highway sign safety messages

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“CARS RUIN CITIES” probably won’t make it through the censors

Two electronic light boards have messages that say “USE YAH BLINKAH!” and “GOBBLE GOBBLE GO EASY ON THE THROTTLE.”
The localized “USE YAH BLINKAH!” is one example from afar.
Georgia Department of Transportation

At one point or another, most Atlanta motorists have seen those massive black light boards above the highway and wished they could use them to broadcast a message to other drivers.

Perhaps a simple, “Get out of my lane,” or a “Look out; cops ahead.”

In fact, some people have been able to hack into those electronic message boards placed by local transportation agencies to say things like, “CARS RUIN CITIES.”

Now, the Georgia Department of Transportation is turning to the public for ideas about what to display on its own changeable message signs.

Interested wordsmiths have until October 18 to submit suggestions, although it’s unlikely they’ll be able to get away with the likes of “BAN CARS; STOP DRIVING,” like one hacker did in New York City.

“All participants are required to follow the competition rules,” says GDOT’s call to action, which notes that profanity and derogatory language are off the table, as are phone numbers, hashtags, and URLs.

Also, no punctuation marks or Emojis (BOO!).

Still, there’s a lot you can do with 63 characters or less that could help motorists during their rush-hour commutes and make them smile.

Would-be writers can pick one of five categories in which to submit safety messages: Distracted Driving, Impaired Driving, Work Zone Safety, Seatbelt, or General Safety.

Some examples shown on the survey page include, “USE YAH BLINKAH!,” “GOBBLE GOBBLE GO EASY ON THE THROTTLE,” and “CASH ME DRIVING THE SPEED LIMIT HOW BOUT DAH?”

Surely Atlantans can whip up something up less cringe-inducing.

Maybe “MARTA IS SMARTA.”