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The 'Don’t Jerk And Drive' Campaign Was Pulled Because No One Was Mature Enough to Handle It

The PSA was supposed to grab the attention of drivers, but it sounded like it was talking about grabbing something else.
December 17, 2014, 5:00am

The South Dakota Office of Highway Safety needed a way to tell drivers what to do when their cars hit icy patches of road. The agency came up with a great cartoon video and billboard campaign that instructed drivers to let up rather than panic. The punchline—"Besides, nobody likes a jerker"—was even funny, since ha ha the PSA is calling aggressive male drivers jerks.

But some people took this ad—which, again, was a great, effective way to inform people about something that could save their lives—as some sort of perverted joke. They though the "Don't Jerk and Drive" campaign, and it's "resist the urge to jerk" tagline was a SEX THING of some kind.


As the Argus Leader ex​plained last Friday, the word "jerk" can "also be used as a euphemism for masturbation." People started complaining, forcing Highway Safety to pull the ad, despite the fact that it was outperforming previ​ous campaigns 25 to 1. (Hopefully, no one lets the God-fearing people​ of Yankton, South Dakota, know, well, y'know.)

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

On behalf of everyone, Trevor, we're sorry. Here's the ad in question, which as you can see is very well made:

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