A Libertarian’s Opinion About “Cute” Road Signs

Written by Gregory Monte.

The government is way too intertwined in our lives.

That is my take away when I see a state department of transportation using its multi-million-dollar digital road sign network to make “cute” comments rather than inform motorists about road conditions.

Check out some of the messages that have appeared on Missouri’s digital road signs this year:

  • “Camp in the Ozarks … Not the Left Lane.”
  • “Treat the Road Like a Cat Video … Share It.”
  • “Santa’s Coming, Have You Been a Good Driver?” (Christmas)
  • “Buckling Up Can Save Your Giblets.” (Thanksgiving)
  • “Discover Your Turn Signal.” (Columbus Day)

“Oh, come on now.  Have a sense of humor at least.  These silly messages harm no one.” 

Perhaps, but Missouri state representative Tony Lovasco wants it to end:

Those signs are hideously expensive, and MoDOT has a lot of incredibly detailed information they could share.  But rather than sharing that information with people, they make puns about Santa Claus.”

He has gone so far as to sponsor a bill to address this situation.  I couldn’t find the full text of Missouri HB 1779, but the short description provided indicates that it …

“Prohibits the Department of Transportation from using roadside dynamic message signs to convey information not related to traffic conditions, weather, or emergency alerts.”

I applaud Mr. Lovasco for doing this. Although I doubt very much he is a libertarian, at least he has a bit of common sense when it comes to reigning in the government when it engages in actions which are clearly outside of its mandate.

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