Bureaucrats want the public to contribute to the often punny and silly safety messages appearing on Ohio's highway signs. Can Columbus Monthly staffers' efforts make you laugh?

In the July issue, freelance writer Lori Kurtzman took a deep dive into the world of highway signage. She attended an Ohio Department of Transportation meeting and used a pseudonym to try to get one of her handcrafted messages on ODOT’s highway signs, which have been running goofy safety warnings like THAT SEATBELT LOOKS GOOD ON YOU for the past two years. Unfortunately, Kurtzman came up short.

But magazine writers love a good turn of phrase or a very bad pun, so we issued the challenge to our newsroom, as posted on ODOT’s public portal: Messages have to be about roadways, ideally about a safety issue, and can be no more than 51 characters total (three lines of 17). Here’s what our intrepid minds delivered:

FLIP MIRRORS UP / SAVE THE VANITY / FOR YOUR PLATES – Lauren Reinhard, marketing manager

TOW TOW / TOW YOUR BOAT / 55 DOWN THE ROAD – Erin Edwards, digital and dining editor

DON’T BE / A STINKER / USE YOUR BLINKER – Chris Gaitten, senior editor

TWITTER CAN WAIT / BE ANTISOCIAL / WHILE DRIVING – LR

SLOW DOWN DOG / AND STAY / IN YOUR OM LANE – Suzanne Goldsmith, senior editor

BOO-CKLE UP! / SOMEONE SPOOKY / LOVES YOU [to run during Halloween] – EE

THAT’S NOT WHAT / FAST FOOD MEANS / EAT AT HOME – LR

BE ALERT! / (THE WORLD NEEDS / MORE LERTS) [courtesy Mad Magazine] – Eric Lyttle, editor in chief

LEFT, RIGHT, A-B / NO SECRET CODE / EYES ON THE ROAD – CG

SPEEDING FOR / A MEETING? / MEET YOUR AIRBAG – LR

DON’T STOP / BELIEVIN, HOLD ON / TO THAT STEERING! – EE

NO TENT ZONE / LEFT LANE / ISN’T FOR CAMPING – CG

IF YOU’RE SLEEPY / STOP FOR PEE-PEE – SG

DON’T DRIVE HIGH / ON THE FOURTH / OF JULY – LR

A $30,000 CAR / AND U CAN’T USE / $10 TURN SIGNALS? – EL

LOTS OF REASONS / FOR RAGE / KEEP IT OFF ROADS – LR

WAS THAT A COP? / MAYBE SLOW DOWN / TO BE SAFE – CG

ONCE YOU’RE HOME / ASK ALEXA / HOW TO MERGE – LR

PASS THE TURKEY / (TO THE LEFT) [to run during Thanksgiving] – EE

BACK OFF / SAVE TAILGATING / FOR THE ’SHOE – CG

IT’S FINE / TO CRUISE / BUT USE CONTROL – SG

YOUR CAR ISN’T / SELF-DRIVING YET / EYES ON THE ROAD – LR

TREAT YOUR PHONE / LIKE YOUR 401K / HANDS OFF – SG

ON THE FIFTH DAY / OF CHRISTMAS… / OH JUST SLOW DOWN – EE

MOTHERS-IN-LAW / AND COPS / VISIT SUDDENLY – LR

HEYYYYYYYYY! / KNOCK IT OFF! / ALL OF YOU! – CG

YES WE DO / OWN THE ROAD / XOXO, ODOT – EL

DON’T TIRE OF / JOKES ’CUZ WHEEL / KEEP MAKING ‘EM – LR

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