The next digital highway sign you see might have a safety message conceived by a fellow Mainer.

It could be: “Spend money on lobstahs – not speeding tickets.” Or: “A cold suppah is bettah than a hot ticket.”

Those are two of the six winning entries selected by public vote for the Maine Department of Transportation’s My Maine Sign contest.

Three months ago, the department decided to crowd-source new safety messages to display on digital message boards set up alongside the state’s major highways.

Signs have received attention in Maine and other states for tongue-in-cheek quips about speeding, winter weather and distracted driving. The most famous – or infamous – example is: “Get your head – out of your apps.”

Instead of coming up with more messages themselves, state officials asked the public for help. In a little less than a month, Maine DOT received almost 2,000 contest entries.

A panel narrowed that field to 60 possible entries that were voted on by the public in an online poll.

Winners were divided between entries for small message boards or large message boards.

The winners for the small message board signs are:

• “Put down UR cell – or you may end up in one” – Katie Landry

• “Spend money on lobstahs – not speeding tickets” – Dan Zarin

• “Little known fact – Snow is really slippery” – Tim Fahey

Winners for the large signs are:

• “A cold suppah is bettah than a hot ticket” – Craig Carver.

• “Be protected – not projected – Buckle up” – Laura Giuliano

• “Keep in mind – Moose eyes don’t shine” – Terry White

Winners got prizes like passes to Maine state parks, tickets to the Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory and a personalized street sign.

Some of the messages will be displayed during the Memorial Day weekend and the rest will be displayed on message boards periodically.


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