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This Week’s Friday Five: Billboards, Zombies, and Wheelies in the Lincoln Tunnel

Friday, April 6, 2012 —

In honor of Distracted Driving Month, we present to you five of the most ridiculous, road-related news items.  We begin with a billboard that grows tomatoes.

The Red Gold Tomatoes “growing” billboard on I-4 near Orlando.

A Fruitful 3-D Billboard with a Cause Throughout the month of April, agricultural company Red Gold Tomatoes will be producing their largest tomatoes yet, on an enormous billboard on I-4 near Orlando, Florida. The advertisement, with a large plastic vine curling up from the ground, will have the giant tomatoes “grow” over the course of four weeks. Here’s the best news: the campaign isn’t just using its “wow” factor to generate business. Red Gold also plans to donate 10,000 pounds of real tomatoes to local food shelters once the billboard-fruit has ripened at the end of April.

Follow the link below for video.

Stephen Colbert Has Seen the Greatness of America and it is a Dude Popping Wheelies in the Lincoln Tunnel On last night’s Colbert Report, viewers were treated to video of a man on a motorcycle in the Lincoln Tunnel, who popped wheelies around a lane switch. Colbert filmed the whole thing during his morning commute, calling himself “the spirit of America” because, in his own words: “Was I focusing on the road? No, I was filming!”

A "No Texting, No Talking, No Exceptions" sign from smartSign, as part of its campaign against distracted driving This “No Texting, No Talking, No Exceptions” sign reminds drivers to stay focused on the road instead of on the phone.

West Virginia Governor Earl Ray Tomblin Signs Bill to Ban Texting while Driving In a slightly more laudable tangent, Governor Tomblin of West Virginia made strides in traffic safety on Tuesday, signing a bill to make texting while driving a primary offense. Studies have proven that drivers texting or talking on their cell phones are likely to be as dangerous on the road as people drunk behind the wheel.  Governor Tomblin has also set up a driving safety pledge on his website, which he is encouraging citizens to sign and uphold.

The proposed location of a controversial billboard in Springfield, Pennsylvania.

Billboard Dispute Sparks Scrutiny of Pennsylvania Constitution Residents of Springfield, Pennsylvania, are protesting plans for a super-sized billboard campaign by outdoor advertising company Bartkowski Investment Group (BIG).  Citing the Pennsyvlania Constitution’s reference to “aesthetic values,” locals claim BIG’s advertisements will introduce unwanted visual clutter.  Meanwhile, Florida land-use lawyer William Brinton told News Works he believes that, should the issue go to state appellate court, there is a good chance the Pennsylvania Constitution would be upheld, setting a discouraging precedent for future outdoor sign campaigns.

From the California Office of Traffic Safety’s new campaign.

Zombie Drivers Campaign Drives Home Its Crucial Message We complete this week’s news installment with a message on zombies.  In further Distracted Driving Awareness Month news, the California Office of Traffic Safety has launched a “Zombie Drivers” campaign that compares texting while driving to driving like a zombie. Too much comedy for such a serious message, or a good way to grab people’s attention? Let us know in the comments section below.

– R. Sapon-White and R. Fogel

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