Travel

South Dakota yanks "Don't Jerk and Drive" PSA

There's no way to know for sure, but someone at South Dakota's Department of Public Safety must have floated this idea as a joke, only for his bosses to take it seriously. But when the short-lived “Don’t Jerk and Drive” PSA video broadcast all over the state, plenty of citizens rose up against the suggestive title -- even though the video shows a cartoon driver jerking the wheel harshly and overturning his car into a catastrophic explosion.

Secretary of The Department of Public Safety, Trevor Jones, responded by pulling the campaign. “This is an important safety message and I don’t want this innuendo to distract from our goal to save lives on the road”, he said in a statement, which was then followed by more media giggles.

So in short: South Dakota doesn't want you overreacting at the wheel if you hit a patch of ice this winter. It made no mention of other potential in-car innuendos, including but not limited to hitting your manual shift too hard, cleaning your fuel injector, or gauging your dipstick levels.

The campaign also ran an ad with the slogans, “Keep calm and don’t jerk the wheel” and “Jerking isn’t a joke”. ​

Um, it most certainly is.


Chloe Pantazi is an editorial assistant on Thrillist's travel team. Yes, that's a British accent. No, she doesn't watch Doctor Who. Follow her on Twitter at @ChloePantazi.