'Mama say buckle up': TxDOT's Mother's Day signs take page from 'The Waterboy'

By Mariah Medina - Digital Journalist

SAN ANTONIO - The Texas Department of Transportation's newest highway message is reminding people to buckle up and that Mother's Day is around the corner.

The signs bear the message, "MAMA SAY BUCKLE UP BOBBY BOUCHER" followed by, "BE SAFE DRIVE SMART LOVE MAMA."

The messages reference the 1998 comedy "The Waterboy," which Adam Sandler starred in and co-authored.

The movie focuses on Boucher's rise to popularity and athletic success at South Central Louisiana State University. In the movie, Boucher, played by Sandler, starts as a lowly water boy for the SCLSU Mud Dogs football team but, against his mother's wishes, soon realizes his potential on the gridiron.

Despite going against her wishes by playing "fooseball" while getting a college education, Sandler's character repeatedly affirms his love for his mama.

The agency's creative and festive slogans plastered on digital signs have people on social media talking, and that's exactly what the TxDOT aimed for when it formed the committee that creates and perfects the slogans.

Emily Parks, a social media coordinator for TxDOT, manages the agency's social media channels and is part of the eight-person committee responsible for the messaging. She said the committee was founded in June of 2018 with the hopes of creating attention-grabbing messaging that can improve and reinforce important driving habits.

"Clearly, these messages are working because it's spreading the word on social media," Parks told KSAT in November 2018. "People are sharing our signs. People are talking about them. And that's what we want. We want people to be aware. Slow down, buckle up, don't drink and drive and focus and pay attention on the road."

The messages are displayed around holidays, safety campaigns and even neutral sporting events, such as the Oklahoma-University of Texas football game.

Those who have a slogan they would like to pitch to TxDOT can tweet them at @TxDOT or send them an email at mediarelations@txdot.gov.

All ideas must meet the following criteria:

-Three lines of text
-No more than 15 characters per line
-Message must be related to safety (reducing speed, anti-drinking and driving, paying attention to the road)

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