ADOT reveals 2 winners of traffic safety messages for sixth contest

Jul 30, 2022, 5:00 AM

(Arizona Department of Transportation Photo) (Arizona Department of Transportation Photo)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Transportation on Friday announced the two winning traffic safety messages for its sixth contest, officials said.

“Don’t Hurry, Be Happy,” and “Signal to the left, Signal to the right, Merge real smooth,” will be displayed on overhead message boards statewide throughout the weekend, ADOT said in a press release.

The winners were named after 3,100 message contest entries were submitted to ADOT in June, then reduced to 12 finalists, in which around 3,000 votes would be cast by the public for the two winners.

A stay-at-home mom from Mesa, Kristen Brown, took inspiration from Bobby McFerrin’s 1988 song “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”

“Give yourself plenty of time to get to where you’re going, turn on some good music and enjoy the ride,” Brown said in the release.

A Gilbert preschool teacher, Lisa Hayes, said she found motivation for her message from the “Cha Cha Slide” song.

“I look at the signs and they make me laugh or smile,” Hayes said in the release. “I just want people to find the humor in the sign, something to smile about. I hope my sign helps people let others know their intentions while merging.”

Brown and Hayes were invited to ADOT’s Traffic Operations Center to type their safety message into the Dynamic Message Sign system to then watch them go live through the traffic cameras.

“We saw thousands of contest entries and votes and it’s great to see Arizonans continuing to be engaged in conversations about traffic safety,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said in the release.

“That’s the purpose of the contest — increasing awareness about how we all can make better decisions when we’re behind the wheel. Think of others driving around you that want to get safely home to their loved ones.”

ADOT displays the messages on the boards in an effort to encourage drivers to make better decisions while on the road.

Driver behavior, such as choosing to speed, distracted driving, and impaired or reckless driving, plays a role in over 90% of vehicle crashes, the release said.

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ADOT reveals 2 winners of traffic safety messages for sixth contest