MoDOT team hopes interstate signs provide messages for thought

5 months 3 days 4 hours ago November 20, 2016 Nov 20, 2016 Sunday, November 20 2016 Sunday, November 20, 2016 6:05:00 PM CST in News
By: Kiara Ealy, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA — They can be witty or straight to the point. The Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) has more than 250 dynamic message signs along Missouri highways and interstates that warn of accidents
and can also catch your attention.

But who's in charge of coming up with the messages on the signs and what goes into the process?

Linda Wilson Horn, communications coordinator with MoDOT, works on the team that writes and schedules sign content.

"The main purpose for the signs is when there is a crash or if we have a work zone, the message boards would relay that information to the public," Wilson Horn said. "But we made the decision a number of years ago that instead of leaving them blank when we didn't have a crash or a work zone, that we would use them for public safety messages."

Wilson Horn and her team decided about two and a half years ago that they were going to step up the sign content to be more humorous and creative. The messages are changed every month. She says she and her team strive to make the signs seasonal or pertinent to events at the time, like holidays and tailgating.

How Horn and other MoDOT employees find inspiration for sign messages may surprise you.

"I look at bumper stickers," Wilson Horn said. "I look at things trending on social media. I look kinda, again, just time of year, what's going on."

However, Wilson Horn has no data to show how effective the signs are. In fact, fatality accidents on Missouri interstates and highways are up six percent compared to this time last year.

Ruth Walker, a partner at Bluestem Missouri Crafts, hopes to see some data on the effectiveness on the signs soon.

"I do think there should be studies done because it seems that our highway funds are pretty low anyway and if these signs aren't helping, then they don't need to be putting them up," Walker said.

Whether you love or hate the MoDOT signs, Wilson Horn believes there's a national problem responsible for more than 35,000 deaths across American highways and interstates. She hopes to see Missouri's percentage in that total decrease.

"Our messages, even when they're humorous, they're still focused on wearing your seatbelt, not texting and driving, not drinking and driving, and just slowing down and being more alert when you're instead of sort of driving on autopilot," Wilson Horn said.

More News

Grid
List
FULTON - Fulton Police are investigating a body found. Fulton Police Chief Steve Myers believes the body could belong to... More >>
6 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 9:19:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri senators have confirmed a former PricewaterhouseCoopers partner to be the state's next revenue director. ... More >>
7 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 8:44:56 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public School teachers could see a significant increase in salary for the coming school year. The... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:22:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — A Missouri senator says he's moving out of a room he rents from a lobbyist following... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:17:23 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri House has passed stricter requirements for tracking fetal tissue after abortions. The... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:13:00 PM CDT in News
MID-MISSOURI - There were 36 reported cases of salmonella in Mid-Missouri Monday, with the majority of cases reported out of... More >>
8 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 7:04:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Works is requesting community members complete a survey on new markings for cyclists at intersections in... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 6:40:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Wind, water and solar power are all elements that usually come to mind when the words 'renewable energy'... More >>
9 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 6:02:00 PM CDT in News
COOPER COUNTY, Mo. - Two people died during a plane crash on Highway 98 near Boonville around 1:40 p.m Monday.... More >>
10 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 5:03:00 PM CDT in News
ARGYLE - For years, the Rock Island rail line carried trains across Missouri, straight through towns like Eldon, Freeburg and... More >>
11 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:50:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A teenager who was shot by a Kansas City store clerk who thought the boy was... More >>
12 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 3:39:00 PM CDT in News
BOONVILLE- What began as a joke between two friends inspired an event that raised money and awareness for a... More >>
12 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:49:00 PM CDT in Continuous News
BALLWIN, Mo. (AP) — St. Louis County authorities are investigating an apparent murder-suicide involving a couple in their 80s. ... More >>
13 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:35:00 PM CDT in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police say a 51-year-old St. Louis-area woman died while she was sleeping when she was struck... More >>
13 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:29:00 PM CDT in News
EUREKA, Mo. (AP) — A Mexican wolf born this month at a wildlife center in suburban St. Louis is offering... More >>
13 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 2:17:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Community Services Department recently released its 2016 Annual Report and Program Directory, which highlights where... More >>
14 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 1:34:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - President Donald Trump's proposed spending plan for 2018 significantly reduces funding for a range of executive departments, from... More >>
15 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 12:13:00 PM CDT in News
FULTON - Two men are on the run after assaulting a man in his home and stealing cash and other... More >>
16 hours ago April 24, 2017 Apr 24, 2017 Monday, April 24 2017 Monday, April 24, 2017 11:23:00 AM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
4am 56°
5am 56°
6am 55°
7am 56°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

3:00a
Mad Money
4:00a
Early Today
4:30a
KOMU 8 News Today
3:30a
Paid Program
4:00a
Paid Program
4:30a
Paid Program

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Voice
8:00p
Great News
8:30p
Great News
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
iZombie
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld