Mississippi drivers noticed something a little different this morning on their commute. Highway signs had been changed to say “Cousin Eddie says Twitter’s full. Put down the phone.”
The message references a scene from “Christmas Vacation” where Cousin Eddie is emptying out the black water tank of his RV and dumping it into the sewer. A neighbor sees him, and he says “S***er’s full.” (to see the full clip complete with NSFW language, click here.)
The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) said they wanted to get away from the “doom and gloom” messages this holiday season and have a little fun with it.
“Our priority is the safety of the traveling public,” said Jason Scott, the public information manager for MDOT. “We can have fun with it, but it’s a serious issue.”
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “nearly a third of drivers between the ages of 18-64 read or send text or email messages while driving.” Distracted driving leads to more than 420,000 injuries and 3,100 deaths every year.
MDOT isn’t just going after distracted driving either. Throughout the month of December, you’re likely to see messages about seat belts.
“Looking at crash data from last year, the seat belt use has gone down in Mississippi,” said Scott. “A lot of serious and fatal crashes are due to not using a seat belt.”
He says enjoy the fun messages on the boards and remember to “stay alert, stop texting and driving and buckle up” for a happy holiday season.