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Dynamic Message Sign Contest

Dynamic Message Sign Contest Banner

Submissions Are Closed

Help Save Lives

Far too many people are losing their lives on roads in Illinois. So earlier this year,  we ramped up our creativity on approximately 100 dynamic message signs through the state, seen by hundreds of thousands of motorists each year. Some of the messages were funny and some were sobering. Our goal is to inform travelers about weather, safety, travel times and the enormous responsibility of operating a vehicle. Sometimes, it requires capturing drivers’ attention by making an emotional connection.

That’s where you come in: We want you to submit your clever message to help make our roadways safer for everyone! If your message is a winner, it will be seen by travelers statewide. Winner perks include a personalized sign and a social media shout-out to our 100K followers!

It's a Matter of Life or Death, Illinois

One death is one too many. Help us grab the attention of drivers, encourage safety and move toward zero fatalities.

  • 1,097 people died on our roads in 2017
  • 94% of all crashes are caused by human error 
  • 300+ people die in drunk driving crashes annually
  • 10% of all fatal crashes involve a distracted driver 
  • 15% of our traffic fatalities are motorcyclists, but they only account for 3% of registered vehicles 

Sources: Illinois Department of Transportation, National Highway Transportation Safety Administration

Contest Guidelines

We’re looking for messages that encourage safe, responsible driving. Illinois residents at least 16 years old may participate. When developing messages, consider themes such as holidays, seasons or local events. There’s no limit to the number of submissions per person.

Safety Message Categories

Each entry must address one the following issues:

  • Distracted Driving (texting, talking on the phone, using apps, eating)
  • Impaired Driving (alcohol, drugs, sleepiness)
  • Occupant Restraint (seat belts – both front and back are required by law, child safety seats)
  • Speeding
  • Vulnerable Users (motorcyclists, bicyclists, pedestrians)
  • Work Zone Safety 

Please check the appropriate category for your message.

Character Limit

Message boards have 3 lines of 18 characters per line. Spaces and punctuation count as characters.


SLOW YOUR ROLL (14 characters)
DRIVE THE (10 characters)
SPEED LIMIT (11 characters)

GET YOUR HEAD (13 characters)
OUT OF YOUR APPS  (16 characters)
DROP IT AND DRIVE  (17 characters)

Sign Locations

Check out the location of our digital message signs across Illinois.

Please note that Illinois Tollway digital message signs are not administered by IDOT, and therefore, will not show messages associated with this contest.

Winner Selection

The IDOT digital message sign committee will review all submissions and select a winning message in each category.


  • Your message displayed statewide, seen by hundreds of thousands of motorists
  • A personalized sign from our official Sign Shop
  • Social media mentions to more than 100K followers

Submissions are closed.

Disclaimer: All contest submissions become the property of IDOT.  Entry into this contest constitutes entrant’s irrevocable and perpetual permission and consent for IDOT to use the submission for any purpose. Entries containing profanity will be disqualified immediately.