Us Canadians, having to deal with the winters that we do, tend to be pretty good drivers in the snow for the most part.South Dakota, though being a little further west, is at about the same latitude as we are. The state’s north border is around the same latitude as Ottawa, and the southern border is around the same latitude as the Niagara region / Golden Horseshoe. So they likely deal with similar conditions.
You can see how similar South Dakota is to us, latitude wise, in this crudely labeled, MSPaint-edited Google Map.
Well someone there thought that young male drivers needed a reminder to drive carefully this winter, and created the “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign.
Not surprisingly, plenty of complaints were received, and the campaign was pulled. What they’re referring to when they say “jerking” is jerking the steering wheel, which can be especially dangerous in winter weather.
But naturally the 12-year-old mentality of the internet (and just about anyone who’s seen it) caused the complaints to start flooding in and ultimately resulted in the removal of the campaign. According to TIME, the organizers intended the double entendre.
Young men are a notoriously hard demographic to handle for public service campaigns — but you’ve got to give officials in South Dakota credit for at least trying to reach them.
State officials announced Friday they’re pulling a public safety ad campaign entitled “Don’t Jerk and Drive,”’ designed to discourage people from jerking on the road, something young men in particular are most likely to do.
“Jerking,” of course, is the habit of overcorrecting on icy roads by jerking the steering wheel back into place and not turning into the slide. What did you think it meant?
“Overcorrecting only results in chaos,” says the British, female narrator in the the ad. “And besides — nobody likes a jerker.”
Officials told The Argus Leader that the onanistic double meaning was intentional. “The message is that we’d prefer drivers keep their cars out of the ditch and their minds out of the gutter,” said Lee Axdahl, director of the office of Highway Safety. But after grumbling from some South Dakotans, including state Rep. Mike Verchio, officials decided to scrap the campaign.
Trevor Jones, secretary of the Department of Public Safety, says that part of the reason the campaign was pulled was because he didn’t want the innuendo to take away from the serious nature of the posters… But if anything, this campaign would probably get more people talking about it than your average run-of-the-mill public service announcement.
They even made a video for the campaign:
So just remember when you’re out there on the road this winter, THINK BEFORE YOU JERK!