iowa-dot-messageThe Iowa Department of Transportation is getting a lot of feedback for an eye-catching electronic billboard message this week.

DOT traffic safety engineer Willy Sorenson says, on Monday, around 85 electronic signs around the state posted a message designed to curb distracted driving.

The billboards read: “Get your head out of your apps. Drive safely.” It’s the latest “Message Monday” slogan, which is part of the DOT’s Zero Fatalities campaign. A few motorists have commented that the messages, while targeting distracted drivers, are themselves – a bit distracting.

Sorenson says the agency has received hundreds of mostly positive comments about the latest message.  “Around 95-percent are very positive,” Sorenson says. “Around five-percent did not like the message we posted, but you can’t make everybody happy.”

In addition to the “apps” message, the sign listed the number of people who’ve died in traffic crashes this year in Iowa. “We made 100-percent of the people who saw (the sign) aware of the number of traffic fatalities that we have in Iowa and that’s the message,” Sorenson says.

So far this year 225 deaths have occurred on Iowa roadways. Last year, there 319 traffic fatalities, the fewest in the state since 1943.