Thousands of Votes Cast

Thanks to enormous public participation, five winning messages have been selected from the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s recent Dynamic Message Sign Contest. Nearly 3,000 message entries were submitted and more than 3,700 votes were cast for the 15 messages selected as finalists. The messages covered issues such as distracted driving, seatbelt usage, impaired driving, speeding and aggressive driving.


The top five messages in order of votes are:

  1. “Turn signals, the original instant messaging.”
  2. “Get the cell off your phone and drive.”
  3. “Practice safe text. Don’t do it while driving.”
  4. “You’re in Tennessee. Volunteer to drive safe.”
  5. “Ain’t nobody got time for a wreck. Slow it down.”


The #1 winning message, “Turn signals, the original instant messaging”, will run on our overhead Dynamic Message Signs this week. That message, along with the other winning messages, will be placed in rotation to run on the overhead Dynamic Message Signs statewide throughout the year.


“Many thanks to everyone who submitted messages and played a role in the voting process,” said TDOT Commissioner John Schroer. “This contest was such a success, and we received many great messages. The purpose of the contest was to give the public a chance to partner with TDOT to raise safety awareness. Even if a submission didn’t win, there’s still a chance that message may be seen periodically on our DMS boards.”


A total of 190 Dynamic Message Signs are located in the state’s four urban areas (Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Nashville), and in some rural areas across the state. The main purpose of the signs is to alert motorists of incidents, lane blockages, hazardous road conditions, or Amber Alerts.


In 2012, TDOT became the first DOT in the nation to display roadway fatality numbers on the overhead signs. In addition to the fatality statistics, safety messages are displayed during off-peak travel times.