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VDOT rolls out unconventional messages in effort to stop deadly crashes

"Speeding leads to the dark side" is posted on one VDOT sign

SALEM, Va. – Over the past year the number of deadly traffic crashes in the commonwealth have increased from 700 to 800, according to the State Department of Transportation.

Due to the increase, there are now multiple digital reminders of the dangers drivers face on Virginia highways. You may have seen signs with catchy safety slogans along local highways recently.

VDOT is using a unique sign campaign they hope will stop bad habits behind the wheel. One of the signs reads “driving drowsy could wreck the holidays.” 

Some of the messages even feature the new "Star Wars" movie,like "Speeding leads to the dark side." This was done to in an effort to make drivers pay attention to safety.

A spokesmen for VDOT, Jason Bond, says that the messages boards are supposed to be eye catching and attention-grabbing.

“Some of the things we are trying to target is impaired driving, texting while driving, unbuckled driving and drowsy driving,” said Bond. “We are trying to get drivers to be more mindful of the impact of their behaviors when they are behind the wheel.”

VDOT also tell us that they will be lifting temporary lane closures starting at noon on Friday through noon next Tuesday. Holiday travelers in the region shared their thoughts about the out of the norm campaign.

Motorist Mavis Dezulovich said ,“if they are a little offbeat then they are going to draw attention and stay in people’s minds.”

Con Rodi, who is traveling to visit family does not agree that the messages will make a change. 

“I have seen a sign that says 'Don't follow so close’ and people still follow so close”, said Rodi.

“My guess is that people are reading them, but not doing anything different.”

VDOT also took advantage of the "Star Wars" movie opening this week to bring awareness to safe driving.

The department created a spoof video of the popular film by highlighting the new diverging diamond that opened at Route 460.