MoDOT looks at most popular signs

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JEFFERSON CITY - Dynamic message signs along Interstate 70 are popping up. MoDOT is looking for feedback from the public on its 16 message boards. A survey at Modot.org is intended to let MoDOT know which signs are most popular while also getting new message ideas from drivers.

The boards are also used to alert motorists on the interstate of work zones and crashes. MoDOT decided to use the boards when there is not a work zone or crash.

"There's not a crash or work zone all the time, so since we've already invested in the board we want to use it for another function," MoDOT Communications Coordinator Linda Wilson-Horn said.

According to Wilson-Horn there were 767 fatalities on the road in Missouri; a number that has been steady for the last five years. She also said that 79 percent of Missouri drivers wear a seatbelt, a number that is below the national average.

Wilson-Horn said this survey won't drastically bring those numbers down, but it's a start.

"We just have to keep hoping that incrementally all these little things that we do are gonna help," Wilson-Horn said.

She said the biggest changes will come from law enforcements, but that these messages are an extra step toward safety.

Wilson-Horn said MoDOT decided to use humorous messages a year ago because the previous messages had gone stale and didn't have a strategic approach. The new messages were created to freshen up the sayings, but some drivers wish they didn't say anything at all.

"The only complaint we've heard, and only from a handful of people, is that the message itself is distracting," Wilson-Horn said.

She said the messages take the same time to look up for an exit sign and that they are not meant to be distracting.

According to Wilson-Horn, the public has enjoyed the humorous dynamic messages overall.

The survey opened earlier this week and suggestions have already been emailed to MoDOT. Wilson-Horn said they are looking at ways to incorporate these suggestions into future themes on the boards. The top three messages will be announced in the third week of June and Wilson-Horn said she expects those messages to be displayed more often.

Drivers can vote on their favorite message and send in any suggestions on their website.

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