Each day, Indiana drivers pass by a wide range of highway signs. In the past, people used to see traditional billboards. However, many states now utilize electronic billboards to convey important information to drivers. However, a federal agency recently reported that it doesn’t like the use of humorous messages on many state signs.
The Federal Highway Administration’s new manual
In a recent manual spanning over 1,000 pages, The Federal Highway Administration provided updated regulations concerning electronic signs used to display warnings and helpful information. While the information in this agency’s report exists to help states, some of them are pushing back against the Federal Highway Administration’s urge to stop humorous signs or those referencing pop culture.
An urgency to stop using humorous messages
Electronic road signs can inform people about recent motor vehicle accidents, weather conditions, delays and other driving-related information. Instead of using pop culture references, obscure messaging or humor to inform drivers, the agency wants signs to convey information in a simple manner that’s to the point, clear and legible.
Pushing back against guidelines
Understandably, not all states are eager to welcome non-humorous road signs or ones that don’t reference pop culture events. Arizona enjoys these signs so much that it holds an annual statewide contest for residents to submit their slogans. Recent yearly contests have amassed thousands of submissions. One Arizona state representative stated: “The humor part of it, we kind of like.”
It’s important to note that the Federal Highway Administration did not call for any ban on electronic billboards that use humor or pop culture references. Instead, this agency strongly urges that states avoid these messages on future billboards.