WSDOT Resorting to Reverse Psychology to Prevent Overturned Semis at Highway 18 Interchange

After the Washington State Patrol reported yet another semi-truck overturned at exit 25 as it turned onto SR 18 from WB I-90, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is "simply giving up".  

Bobby-Dee Rhodes, spokesperson for the WSDOT admitted, "welp, we gave it our best shot, but sometimes you have to just admit defeat and move on.  In conjunction with the Washington State Patrol, we've determined that our prior messages of caution and prudence simply are not working.  Our new message is simple - ‘let 'er rip and watch her flip!’”.

The road signs approaching the dangerous turn will be replaced with signs that encourage drivers to speed up and ignore the dangers of that turn.  Rhodes explained, “we had this idea that maybe if we actually encourage people to act recklessly, maybe, you know, they won’t?”.

This novel approach comes after a previous innovative idea by the Washington State Patrol (WSP) to publicly shame the drivers who flip their rig at the intersection.  Those drivers were forced to add bumper stickers to the back of their trailers with messages such as, “Stay 50 Feet Back - Total Idiot Driving”, “You Can't Fix Stupid, But You Can Hire Him To Flip This Semi-Truck”, “You Can Flip Me Off, But Just Know I've Flipped This Semi-Truck”, and the popular “See Ya' On The Flip Side!”.  The thought was to change behavior through embarrassment and humiliation, but Trooper Lars Dottirson of the WSP admitted, “unfortunately, the shaming idea failed to change driver behavior.”

The Interstate 90 / State Route 18 interchange has been a problematic transportation challenge for Snoqualmie for many years.  The Washington State Legislature approved $150 million to improve travel times and safety performance at the interchange.  Construction is expected to be completed in 2024.

Reverse psychology is a psychological technique involving the assertion of an act or behavior that is opposite to the one desired, with the hope that this will encourage the subject of the persuasion to do what is actually desired.  The strategy is often successful when used on children, but it sometimes even works on stupid adults.


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