Home / Lifestyle / South Dakota pulls ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ campaign

South Dakota pulls ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ campaign

South Dakota pulls its 'Don't Jerk and Drive' campaign after an unfortunate misunderstanding.@DriveSafeSD via Twitter South Dakota pulls its ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ campaign after an unfortunate misunderstanding. A video warning about the dangers of jerking the wheel is called “Driving Proper.”drivesafesd.com A video warning about the dangers of jerking the wheel is called “Driving Proper.” The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety website warns that overcorrecting a steering wheel on slick roads is dangerous.drivesafesd.com The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety website warns that overcorrecting a steering wheel on slick roads is dangerous. The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety tweeted that “drivers need to think before jerking. The wheel that is.”@DriveSafeSD via Twitter The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety tweeted that “drivers need to think before jerking. The wheel that is.”
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South Dakota officials shuttered a “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign after complaints that the public safety push was too inappropriate.

Officials created the risqué campaign in early December to raise awareness about the dangers of jerking the steering wheel on icy roads.

“The message is that we’d prefer drivers keep their cars out of the ditch and their minds out of the gutter,” Lee Axdahl, director of the Office of Highway Safety, told the Argus Leader.

But the double entendre, referring to a euphemism for masturbation, took attention away from the real issue, public officials complained.

“This is an important safety message and I don’t want this innuendo to distract from our goal to save lives on the road,” said Trevor Jones, the secretary of the state Department of Public Safety in a statement.

The provocative campaign, pulled Thursday, caught the public’s attention and was viewed 25 times more than other department public safety push, according to the Argus Leader. More than 16,000 people saw it on Twitter and 30,000 folks viewed it on Facebook.

The $ 100,000 campaign was aimed at young men, the drivers most likely to jerk the wheel, Axhul said.

In the television ad, a British narrator describes how to drive “proper” over an animation of a crash caused by a driver overcorrecting the wheel.

“Resist the urge to jerk the wheel,” the narrator says. “Besides, nobody likes a jerker.”

Other ads use phrases such as “Jerking isn’t a joke,” “Think before you jerk,” and “Keep calm and don’t jerk the wheel.”

Officials promoted the campaign on social media using #Don’tJerkandDrive.

Many people on social media called the ads hilarious, tweeting links out to late night show comedians.

But others did not find it so funny. State Rep. Mike Verchio said he plans to call the organizers before the transportation committee to explain themselves.

The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety has an ATV safety section on its website with a drivesafesd.com The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety has an ATV safety section on its website with a “Miss Information” pageant contestant who flips her hair and gives painfully bad advice.

The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety has launched some other interesting public safety campaigns.

In its online “Miss Information Pageant,” a bleach-blond woman flips her hair in a crop top, a belly button ring, Daisy Duke shorts and cowboy boots. She gives painfully bad ATV safety advice, such as recommending people try riding blindfolded.

The motorcycle safety section of the department’s website features a decapitated male doll sprawled against a wall next to his wrecked motorcycle. It warns people they are not made from plastic, so they could get hurt even worse.

Another campaign included a video entitled “How to Snap a Sober Selfie,” encouraging people to stay sober and be designated drivers.

On a mobile device? Click here to watch the video.

rblidner@nydailynews.com

Lifestyle – NY Daily News

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