Massachusetts highway signs telling motorists to “Use Yah Blinkah” and other such funny slogans are going away, after the federal government has told all 50 states to stop putting humorous and quirky messages onto the electronic signs.

The “blinkah” sign first debuted in May 2014, and has become commonplace in the decade since along with other attention-grabbing messages such as suggesting wearing a seat belt would "make yah ma proud."

However, the U.S. Federal Highway Administration has issued a new manual for how highway signs should be handled beginning in 2026, noting that they should be “simple, direct, brief, legible and clear” and should no longer have obscure meanings, pop culture references or humorous intentions.

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In an interview on WBSM, State Representative William Straus (D-Mattapoisett) of the 10th Bristol District, the chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation, said he agrees with the new guidelines for highway signs.

“I take a very traditional view that when people are on the highways, the important thing is to allow them to travel safely,” Straus said.

Chris Lisinski/SHNS
Chris Lisinski/SHNS

Straus emphasized that while he does think that he has a sense of humor, he thinks the signs should be direct.

“The information that’s communicated to the driving public or the motoring public should be the information that is within, I’ll say, the mission of the interstate highway system,” Straus said. “Which is to get you there safely, to know which exits are coming, what resources – whether it’s food or hotels or whatever – are at each exit, and to be straight with the information and not in any way to cause confusion.”

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