You may start to notice a gradual disappearance of funny interstate signs, thanks to the latest standards set forth by the Federal Highway Administration in December.

These standards have raised concerns among transportation authorities nationwide, warning against the use of messages with obscure or secondary meanings, popular culture references, or humorous intent on road signs.

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Concern Over Distracted Driving

Officials are strongly advising against messages that could potentially confuse or distract drivers. The primary reason behind this move is the growing concern over distracted driving, which has been a significant contributor to road accidents in recent times.

Rodney Mallett, a spokesperson for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, emphasized the importance of avoiding distractions on the road. "We see way too many crashes because of distracted driving, so the last thing we want to do is put something up that would be a distraction," he stated.

The La. DOTD is taking a proactive approach to comply with the new standards by focusing on safety-centered messages. They regularly display messages like "click it or ticket" and "drive sober or get pulled over" to stress the importance of safe driving. All messages displayed on their boards must be cleared through their chief engineer, who closely collaborates with FHWA. Additionally, they adhere to character limits on the signs to ensure concise and easily digestible information.

Crystal Pichon, CEO of The Safety Place, reminded drivers of their responsibility behind the wheel. "Just because the distraction is there, doesn't mean that you have to participate in the distraction," she advised. Pichon pointed out that while billboards can be distracting, it's ultimately the driver's responsibility to stay focused and avoid distractions.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg welcomed the changes, stating that they aim to make transportation safer and more efficient.

While the debate continues on whether humor aids in conveying important messages on the road, transportation authorities have a few more years to get their laughs in before the new rules officially take effect in 2026.

Here are some 'punny' examples of what they have been seeing across the country on highway signs.

14 Of The Most Outrageous Road Sign Messages

Gallery Credit: Ken Hayes

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