South Dakota Pulls ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ Campaign



The South Dakota Department of Highway Safety’s “Don’t Jerk and Drive” campaign was a pundit’s wet dream.

New York Magazine‘s Jessica Roy (“South Dakota Yanks ‘Don’t Jerk and Drive’ Ad Campaign“) has some fun with her report:

South Dakota has yanked its “Don’t Jerk and Drive” ad campaign for reasons that are totally obvious to anyone who’s ever been 13 years old: It’s reminiscent of the (disturbingly popular) pastime of masturbating while driving.

The PSAs, plastered on billboards around the state, were supposed to “grab the attention of drivers” and jack up interest in the dangers of navigating snowy roads. Though the Office of Highway Safety took a purposeful whack at double entendre, some believed the ads might rub people the wrong way and become a driving distraction. The campaign was yanked prematurely by the Department of Public Safety, which said it doesn’t “want innuendo to pull focus for the main message of saving lives on the road.”

So much for that stroke of genius. Now the Department of Highway Safety is left with a pretty sticky PR mess to clean up.

As a general rule, government agencies shouldn’t try to be funny.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. ernieyeball says:

    Masturbation is sex with somebody I love. Woody Allen

  2. Tyrell says:

    That could be a bigger problem with straight drive and a stick shift.

  3. rodney dill says:

    I think someone is pulling our chain

  4. KM says:

    That’s right up there with Check Yo Nutz!

  5. Neil Hudelson says:

    Too many puns in the original article. I, for one, won’t be sharing this post. I refuse to have a hand in stroking this author’s ego and giving him a big head.

    As a general rule, government agencies shouldn’t try to be funny.

    True. But in this case they nailed it.

  6. CSK says:

    It might bring a whole new dimension to the term “leaving rubber.”

  7. Rick DeMent says:

    ok so if jerking in this case does not referring to masterbation what activity are they actually describing?

  8. rodney dill says:
  9. rodney dill says:

    Still doesn’t beat the Rosie Ledet, You can Eat My Poussiere double entendre.

  10. J-Dub says:

    Anyone from the DC area might remember the Mike&Mike show where they encouraged women to call in and “stir the soup” while on the air.