The Tennessee Department of Transportation will continue to display fatality numbers on their message boards. They plan to only put them up on Friday's starting this year and its easy to see the number.
Roadway fatalities on the message boards overlook Chattanooga interstates. Bob Wierenga, a traveler said, "The signs kind of took me back a little bit when I read it the first time, then the second time, and then the third time." The fatality messages can be seen on all local boards. The Tennessee Department of Transportation says there are limits to what they can put on those signs. Vince Dean, Vice Chairman of the House Transportation Committee said, "You don't want to put too much information on it because if you put too much information on the sign then the motorist won't be able to read it. We don't want to do anything to distract the ones driving." One traveler thought that the boards were not only negative, but underused. Wierenga said, "Use like a detour or so many miles ahead there is a problem, or so many minutes ahead to get to a certain spot, that would be helpful."
Knoxville and Nashville use their overhead message boards to show drive time and possible detour routes, however the Chattanooga signs don't utilize their potential. Jennifer Flynn, The Tennessee Department of Transportation Region 2 Community Relations Officer said, "We do get those messages, we just don't use them as often, and it's a choice. There is a TMC in each of the 4 regions, and its up to the manager in the TMC to determine what they want to run on the signs."
TDOT region 2, which covers our area, says they will utilize the boards when they thinks its necessary. Flynn said, "A lot of the time the signs will be blank and thats intentional because we don't want to get people who are travelling regularly throughout the area to not pay attention to what the signs say. When the sign says something we want to get peoples attention, and to mean something.