Anti-drunk driving billboards featuring emojis hit South Carolin - FOX Carolina 21

Anti-drunk driving billboards featuring emojis hit South Carolina highways

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Billboard aims to bring different kind of anti-drunk driving message (Courtesy: WIS) Billboard aims to bring different kind of anti-drunk driving message (Courtesy: WIS)
Trooper Bob Bere's message to Columbia residents during the flooding prompted use of emojis among Highway Patrol (Twitter) Trooper Bob Bere's message to Columbia residents during the flooding prompted use of emojis among Highway Patrol (Twitter)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The emoji game is strong with South Carolina Highway Patrol. New billboards going up all across South Carolina aim to bring a powerful message, with few words. 

"I think it catches everybody's attention," said SCHP Cpl. Bill Rhyne. "I don't think it's as much to reach teens as it is to reach everybody."

The billboards - featuring emojis - those popular images we text and tweet, are the brainchild of Sgt. Bob Beres. The Columbia-based trooper tweeted an emoji-laden message, when the damaging floods of 2015 hit the Palmetto State. 

Translation: Don't drive around barriers even if you don't see water on the road. The flood could have washed dirt out underneath and then emergency crews will have to come get you. Hashtag hospital sadface.

"All of the sudden they just started getting re-tweeted," Rhyne said. "And they were starting pick up national attention."

Meunei Jordan, 16, who is just learning to drive sid the message resonates with her. 

"I use the emojis on my phone everyday," said Jordan.

"[Teens] can relate to it, and when they see it they are actually gonna look at it and read it," said Tracey Long, driving instructor at Atlas Driving School in Spartanburg. 

Right now, the billboards just translate to drinking plus driving equals a trip to jail, but Rhyne says new campaigns are coming soon, targeting a number of important subjects. 

"Why are people dying? Obviously number one is drinking and driving, number two is non-use of seatbelts, and number three is speeding and distracted driving," he said, adding emoji billboard campaigns will go up on those subjects shortly. 

The emoji messages will also be seen on gas pumps and high school sporting event tickets starting next school year. 

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