POLITICS

The Force Is Strong With The Iowa Department Of Transportation

"Texting & driving leads to the dark side."

It doesn't matter whether you can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs -- the Iowa Department of Transportation just wants you to get there safely.

To that end, the government agency is running a variety of "Star Wars"-themed messages on digital signs across the state this week, in honor of Friday's release of the latest film in the iconic movie series.

"Texting & driving leads to the dark side," one sign warns.

Another reads, "The Force is strong with you. Put down the phone." 

A humorous sign from the Iowa DOT uses "Star Wars" to encourage drivers to focus on the road.
A humorous sign from the Iowa DOT uses "Star Wars" to encourage drivers to focus on the road.

"We try to make all our Message Monday signs relevant," Tracey Bramble, a spokeswoman at the Iowa DOT, told The Huffington Post.

"With the big movie premiere this week ... we asked around the Iowa DOT for suggestions," she added. "While we typically stick to just one message per week that runs from midnight Sunday night to midnight Monday night, this week we had just too many good messages to choose just one."

If you text and drive, the Galactic Empire wins.
If you text and drive, the Galactic Empire wins.

Bramble said the messages are running in a couple of other states as well. Arizona, Colorado and Utah also signed up to run similarly humorous public safety announcements.

The Iowa DOT has a reputation for lighthearted messages.

Earlier this year, it riffed on the famous line from "Dirty Dancing" -- "Nobody puts baby in a corner" -- to remind drivers not to leave children unattended in a car. (The "Dirty Dancing" campaign coincided with performances of the play in Des Moines.)

And if you prefer "Star Trek" to "Star Wars," the Iowa DOT has you covered: Actor George Takei, onetime helmsman of the USS Enterprise, shared one of the department's messages on his Facebook page in October.

"Get your head out of your apps," it read. "Drive safely."

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