Have you ever been driving and seen a funny traffic sign? Well, Johnny Law says that laughing on the road is no longer allowed.
For years, some municipalities have tried to get drivers to pay attention to road signs by giving them dad-level senses of humor. Rather than simply say, “Don’t text while driving,” for example, the sign will read something like, “Get your head out of your apps.” I know, it’s like the laughs don’t stop!
Unfortunately, now they do, thanks to a recent announcement from the feds. According to the Wall Street Journal, the Federal Highway Administration (FHA) recently put out a statement declaring, “Signs should avoid language that uses pop-culture references or humor.” The reason given is that “funny signs can distract drivers.”
Speaking personally, I’ve never seen a road sign so funny that it’s impaired my driving ability. But hey, maybe I’m alone here — it’s certainly possible that a large part of the U.S. risks running their Prius off a bridge every time they see, “Be a thinker, use your blinker.”
Going back to the article, the FHA goes further in its reasoning behind making this anti-comedy decision. According to the administration, signs containing references or humor “might be misunderstood or understood only by a limited segment of road users.”
This part of the rule is a bit more understandable, as some states have gotten bold with what they’ve put on signs. Case in point: Ohio once tried rolling out signs that read, “Life is fra-gee-lay, drive safe.” This is a reference to A Christmas Story, but if you haven’t seen the movie, I can imagine spending a few minutes trying to figure out what the hell that sign was trying to convey before accidentally slamming your 4Runner into an IHOP.
So, if you’re a fan of these signs, get ready to say goodbye, as the FHA says they’ll likely be phased out over the next two years. If you’re looking for on-the-road entertainment, you’re just going to have to listen to music like a normal person.