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Lighthearted stop signs try to slow drivers with humor in Chicago suburb

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Posted: September 29, 2007 3:55 p.m.
Updated: October 14, 2007 5:00 a.m.
    OAK LAWN, Ill. — A big red sign that says ‘‘Stop’’ sometimes isn’t enough to get everyone to stop. Maybe a laugh will get their attention.
    This Chicago suburb has installed second stop signs beneath the regular ones at 50 intersections with messages, including ‘‘WHOAAA’’ or ‘‘Stop ... and smell the roses.’’
    ‘‘I thought it might make people smile and take notice,’’ Mayor Dave Heilmann said as he launched the campaign Friday. ‘‘You’ve got people on their cell phones, their BlackBerries and iPods while driving. Those are all distractions. Hopefully, when they see a sign they’re not expecting it might make them stop.’’
    The new signs are red octagons, just like the real stop signs, but instead of just ‘‘Stop’’ they say ‘‘Stop ... right there pilgrim’’ and ‘‘Stop ... in the naame of love.’’ Naame? Think of the drawn-out pronunciation in the hit by the Supremes.
    It might be too soon to know whether the alternative signs will work. But while the mayor was posing for a photo with one of the new signs, a driver sped by without stopping.

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