Phone Home… Safely
Points throughout the state
2011 Update: It’s been years since I put this page together and I’m happy to report that it has become the “go-to” place on the Intertubes for those curious about these idiotic signs. I’m so proud. Anyway, check this out – The original commercial 17 years after ET was a “thing.”
I get search engine hits on this page way more than you’d think. These signs are definitely curious. I’ve driven many miles around my country and I’ve never seen one of these signs anywhere else. Nor have I found a non-CT web presence of them either, so until I do, I’m stating that the E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Progressive Car Insurance Buckle Up signs are pretty much unique to Connecticut.*
*This is not true.
The funny thing is, it wasn’t supposed to be that way at all. During the Super Bowl in 1999, Progressive launched a massive marketing campaign with ET as as their spokesalien. Never mind it was about 17 years too late. They blanketed the country with flyers and educational posters and print ads – all to promote safety. And their insurance of course.
So what about the roadsigns? From the US Department of Transortation website:
Progressive provided free roadside signs to organizations that could place them in locations where they are visible to traffic. The signs were made available in a variety of formats, including the familiar diamond shaped yellow advisory signs that are used to warn of hazards ahead. The plan, to place the highly visible signs in communities around the country, is growing. Connecticut was one of the first states to receive signs, where city planners and engineers ordered nearly 4,000 of them.
The article does not mention any other states getting in on the random act of weirdness. And I can sure as heck report that there are nowhere near 4000 of these things in Connecticut. When I started this page in 2007, I knew where 2 signs were. Since them, I’ve collected several more and the comments section provides locations of several more. But not 4000.
Also, over the years I’ve gotten a bunch of reader submissions and protestations that they are in other states as well. See the comments and keep them coming!
I never liked that movie anyway.
You want more?
At the corner of St. John’s Street and St. John’s Square (which is a road, actually off of Main) in Middletown
At the end of School Street in Woodbury (Hat-tip to commenter Ben)
Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, at the intersection of Roberts Avenue and Eighth Avenue. (Courtesy of reader Matt L.)
End of Old Whitfield Street at the boat launch, Guilford.
Exceedingly rare indoor ET. (From reader Michelle B, taken at her office in Avon)
Another New Haven ET on Whalley Ave at W. Park Ave.
A reader submission from Midlothian, VA (Thanks Ryan G!)
A reader submission from Tavares, FL (Thanks Travis!)
A reader submission from the same intersection in Tavares, FL (Thanks Travis!)
A reader submission from Panthorn Park in Southington (Thanks, Rich!)
A reader submission from somewhere in Southington (Thanks, Dorie!)