Riding down the highway, thinking about digging

You’re riding down the highway, thinking about – digging?

Electronic signboards on Interstate 93 south of Boston this morning proclaimed “Call Dig Safe at 811 before you dig ... It’s the law.”


The state Department of Transportation regularly uses 30 to 50 of its programmable message boards for public service announcements, the Globe’s Eric Moskowitz reported in late August.

It’s not the first time that the Dig Safe program has been touted on the signboards. Dig Safe is a not-for-profit clearinghouse that you call when you plan to do some digging. Dig Safe, in turn, notifies utilities so they can come and mark out where their pipes are. (Dig Safe says you should call, even if you’re just putting in a mailbox, by the way, according to their website.)

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But it’s one of the more unusual messages that get posted. Perhaps even weirder: In August, some drivers were puzzled by the boards blaring, “Stop forest pests ... Don’t move firewood,” a reference to efforts to prevent the spread of pests that can hide in firewood, the Globe reported.

In a similar vein, the signs once said, “Stop aquatic invasives ... Wash your boat ... after use.”

Other messages that have been displayed seem to be more on point, like, “Winter weather advisory ... Reduce speed ... Use caution,” or the very pithy “Speed kills ... Slow down.”

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