Mass. to use humor on highway signs

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BOSTON -- The Massachusetts Department of Transportation on Thursday announced the winners of a contest to come up with humorous yet important driver safety messages for electronic highway message boards.

The contest was inspired by a message posted on highways in May that encouraged drivers to "Use Yah Blinkah" -- or turn signal -- when changing lanes.

The winners were "Make yah Ma proud, wear yah seatbelt," to encourage belt use, submitted by The Parent's Supervised Driving Program team of Safe Roads Alliance; "Keep Calm and Drive On," to prevent road rage, submitted by Patrick Casey of Boston; and "Put down the phone! Your LOLs and OMGs can wait," to fight distracted driving, submitted by Justin Lovell of Whitman.

The winners get gift cards from gas stations and restaurants.

More than 500 entries were received.

"We received some very creative, thoughtful and funny message suggestions," Transportation Secretary Richard Davey said.

The winning messages will be displayed on hundreds of message boards during busy travel periods in the coming months.

"With the 'Use Yah Blinkah' sign, we got people's attention," said Highway Administrator Frank DePaola. "By changing the routine messages, we hope to bring a new light to important public safety messages that sometimes may be overlooked."

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