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ROADSIDE CHAT

A FEW WORDS GO A LONG WAY

Making a difference

Roadside Chat uses the wide network of dynamic message boards on state highways to display conversation-starting safety messages and the current highway fatality count.

This is your program! The success of the program relies on message suggestions from you. Have something to say? Submit your own message for consideration using the form on the right. If we use your message, we will be sure to contact you and acknowledge you by using your first name, last initial, and city when we promote the message.

All messages must be related to highway safety and try to focus messages on the five specific areas where drivers can make the most difference in bringing down the number of fatalities: buckle up, slow down, pay attention, be alert and drive sober.

The messages are a mixture of:

  • Thought-provoking statements
    • Get your head out of your apps
    • Kids drive like their parents
    • Not buckled? What’s holding you back?
    • What would they do without you? Drive safely
  • Holiday messages
    • Ho Ho Ho, buckle up and go
    • Halloween is near. Don’t be a crash test dummy
    • Buckling up can save your giblets
  • References to popular events that resonate with a large audience
    • Road rage, let the Wookie win
    • Not buckled, you’re killing me Smalls
    • Don’t press your luck, no whammies
    • Is this heaven? No it’s Iowa. Drive safely

All the messages are followed by a “back story” explaining messages on the Zero Fatalities blog, Zero Fatalities Facebook and Twitter feeds. The goal of each week’s message and story is to start conversations related to safe driving behavior.

The program, which originally ran on Mondays, was launched as Message Mondays on Aug. 5, 2013. It was created to help drive awareness of the number of fatalities that occur on Iowa’s roadways and help start conversations around safe driving behavior. The program moved to Fridays on July 2, 2021, to help reach travelers near the highest fatal crash days of the week (Friday is the second, Saturday the first, and Sunday is the third). In addition, posting messages on Friday reaches both weekday commuter traffic, as well as travelers who may be heading out of town for weekend activities.


Dynamic Message Board Examples

Four examples of Roadside Chat DMS messages

Have Something To Say? Submit your message.

Get your
Head out of
Your apps
Message Board

18 characters
18 characters
18 characters








  • Due to the size of the signs, your submission is has a character limit.
    A highway message can’t be longer than 54 characters (18 characters for each of the three lines).
  • Messages must be traffic safety related.
    Greater consideration is given to submissions that focus on one or more of our 5 emphasis areas - Drive Chill, Drive Sober, Focus on the Road, Stay Alert and Buckle Up.
  • Messages may not run exactly as submitted. The Roadside Chat Team will review every message and reserves the right to change submissions for length, better comprehension by general audiences, or to strengthen ties to safety topics. However, you will receive recognition if a portion or altered version of your submission is ran on message boards.
  • Your submission will be disqualified if it is defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, harassing, bullying, threatening or unlawful.

*Required fields

I agree with the terms and conditions


Intellectual Property:
I agree and acknowledge that anything submitted in accordance with the parameters of this submission form is usable by the Sponsor, Zero Fatalities for use on social media outlets; in promotional material and advertising relating to Zero Fatalities, the contest, and on DMS installations throughout Iowa.

Limitation of Liability:
By entering a DMS submission or by participating in a contest or by accepting any prize, entrants, agree to release, indemnify & hold harmless the Sponsor & each of their respective agents, representatives, officers, directors, shareholders & employees from & against any liability of any kind whatsoever resulting from or arising from participation in the contest or acceptance, possession, use, misuse or nonuse of the prize that may be awarded. Any contest rules shall be interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Iowa. The Sponsor is not responsible for technical, computer, mechanical, printing, typographical, human or other errors relating to or in connection with a contest, including, without limitation, errors which may occur in connection with the administration of a contest, the processing of entries, the announcement of the prizes or in any contest-related materials; or for stolen, lost, late, misdirected, damaged, incomplete, inaccurate, undelivered, delayed or illegible entries; or for electronic, computer, or telephonic malfunction or error, fail to enter into the processing system, or are processed, reported, or transmitted late or incorrectly or are lost for any reason including computer, telephone, paper transfer, human or other error. If in the Sponsor’s opinion, there is any suspected or actual evidence of electronic or non-electronic tampering with any portion of a contest, or if computer viruses, bugs, unauthorized intervention, fraud, or technical difficulties compromise or corrupt or affect the administration, integrity, security, fairness, or proper conduct of the contest, the Sponsor in its sole discretion reserves the right to disqualify any individual who tampers with the entry process & void any entries submitted fraudulently, to modify or suspend a contest, or to terminate a contest altogether. As a condition of entering a contest, entrants agree that: a.) under no circumstances will entrants be permitted to obtain awards for, & entrants hereby waive all rights to claim punitive, incidental, consequential, or any other damages, other than for actual out-of-pocket expenses; b.) all causes of action arising out of or connected with a contest or prize awarded shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action; c.) any & all claims, judgments & awards shall be limited to actual out-of-pocket costs incurred & in no event shall entrants be entitled to receive attorneys’ fees or other legal costs. Sponsor reserves the right to modify prize award procedures.

Privacy Policy:
Any information gathered for a contest will be used expressly for the purposes of notifying the winner of said contest. Personal information will not be stored, shared other than to acknowledge the entrant or sold in any manner outside of the parameters of a contest. Information gathered outside of a contest will only be used if there arises a need to contact an individual in regards to their DMS submission.

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