Written by Nancy Lee, as part of her Social Marketing Sightings theme.
Sighted on: smithsonianmag.com
Social Issue: Traffic Safety
Social Marketing Strategy: Prompts & Rewards for Driving the Speed Limit
If You Drive The Right Speed, This Musical Highway Will Play You a Song
This stretch of Route 66 sings—literally
Two years ago, the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT), along with the National Geographic Channel, had the idea to make a roadway that sings—literally. Enlisting the help of San Bar Construction Corp., a New Mexico-based company that designs and constructs traffic control devices and signs, NMDOT created a length of roadway between mile markers four and five that plays music whenever a vehicle drives over it. But there’s a catch—the tune, in this case “America the Beautiful,” only works when cars are traveling at exactly 45 mph. The road’s purpose is twofold: to encourage drivers to stay the speed limit and to bring a little excitement to an otherwise monotonous highway.