It seems like only a few months ago that I would see just an occasional one of these here and there while driving in Missoula.

But lately, BOOM! Like flowers in the springtime, they seem to be blooming everywhere. And while this is not a new awareness campaign, nor are its grass roots in Missoula, it appears our town, like so many others, is embracing the simple notion of stating the obvious and reminding motorists to be more courteous and conscientious. It's almost too simple, right?

How effective can signs like this be? Well, the easy answer is, they sure can't hurt. A visit to the website of the couple whose inspiration created the red and white DRIVE LIKE YOUR KIDS LIVE HERE signs will tell you that is was personal experience that led to the start of a nationwide awareness campaign.

Petulia Pugliares and her husband experienced far too many close calls with speeding and distracted drivers while being pedestrians in their own neighborhood, and planning to start a family soon. So, they went to work marketing safety awareness products.

This one statistic alone ought to get your attention: four-to-five pedestrian children are killed per week. So, will such a simple message hit home with drivers? The pessimist in all of us says, probably not.

But hopefully it works like other forms of advertising. Repetition breeds retention. The more you see or hear a message, the more likely you are to remember. And why are we suddenly seeing so many more of these signs in Missoula?

One factor could be more availability. You can order this sign and a few others online through the DRIVE LIKE YOUR KIDS LIVE HERE WEBSITE. But the site also lists a number of chains that have started merchandising them as well, including Lowe's, Home Depot and Ace.

Another factor simply could be that people see them in other yards, think they're a great idea for their yards, go get them and things just keep blossoming from there.

Whatever your reason, we thank you for deciding that a safe driving awareness sign looks pretty darn good in your yard.

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