Arizona

Are You Funnier Than ADOT? Here's Your Chance to Prove It

You've got to hand it to the folks at the Arizona Department of Transportation: They've finally figured out a way to get people to pay attention to traffic safety signs.

Highlights from the past year included references to the short-lived Pokemon Go fad, a Thanksgiving greeting that warned drivers to "mash potatoes, not your head" and buckle up, and a series of Star Wars-themed messages.

But let's be real: Most of the messages aren't THAT funny.

They're noteworthy only to the extent that most highway signs are boring, commuting is even more boring, and most government agencies appear to be run by humorless bureaucrats who don't know what the internet is. Most fall squarely in the category of "dad humor."

Now's your chance to prove that you can do better.

From today through Sunday, February 19, ADOT is accepting submissions to their Highway Safety Sign Contest.

There are a few caveats: ADOT wants messages that are "serious and fun," whatever that means. The message has to fit on three lines, with each line containing more than three characters. And no emojis or hashtags are allowed. Presumably, anything remotely controversial will be thrown out.

The ADOT will pick their 15 favorite submissions in March, and allow the public to vote on a favorite. The overall winner will have their message displayed on overhead highways signs for two days in April.

There's no financial prize at stake — only glory.

In the meantime, we'll be sharing some of the entries that didn't make it through ADOT's vetting process, so please feel free to e-mail your rejected highway sign ideas to [email protected]

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Antonia Noori Farzan is a staff writer at New Times and an honors graduate of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism. Before moving to Arizona, she worked for the New Times Broward-Palm Beach.