Iowa Is Using Taylor Swift Lyrics to Encourage Safe Driving
Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” has inspired countless memes and covers, but the Iowa Department of Transportation’s use of Swift’s tune may top them all. There are apparently some pretty hip and in-the-know folks working for the DOT — and they’re putting their pop-culture wisdom to good use.
Drivers who pass one of the state’s electronic road signs may notice a version of a very familiar lyric in lights above their heads. Instead of, “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now…Why? Oh, ’cause she’s dead,” the sign reads: “Old Taylor can’t come to the phone… She’s driving.”
Actress Patti Murin — who’s starring in the upcoming Broadway adaptation of Frozen — posted a photo of the sign to Instagram, writing, “Iowa road signs for the WIN.” (We agree.)
The sign — part of the state’s “zero fatalities” campaign, which first started back in 2013 — is meant to remind drivers not to text and drive.
— Iowa DOT (@iowadot) October 2, 2017
And it goes beyond Taylor Swift lyrics. The DOT has incorporated several other pop culture references into its campaign in the past.
Pokémon players have been reminded that the road is not a place to try to catch ’em all.
this is on all the road signs in Iowa pic.twitter.com/8bXZWed0LN
— Arianna💫 (@ariannaterese) July 25, 2016
And Star Wars fans have been targeted more than once in a range of “Force”-ful ways.
— Alissa (@AMarieL87) May 4, 2015
— Walter Ambrose III (@ambrose03) December 15, 2015
— J. Clark (@JClark822) December 15, 2015
The warnings are undeniably quirky, but they’re also incredibly important. According to research from Zendrive, drivers are using their phones nearly every time they get behind the wheel (88 percent of the time, to be exact). And the BBC reports that 404 people died on Iowa roads in 2016 alone due to distracted driving.
Be sure to put down your phone when you get in the driver’s seat, and consider singing along to a Taylor Swift song instead. And of course, always pay attention to the road.
Do you have ideas for other pop culture-inspired road signs? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photo via Mark Davis/Getty)