Virginia officials have discretely modified the language of a road sign that formerly read “don’t hit the car in front of you,” following a series of media reports critical of the seemingly obvious message.

The sign, displayed just outside Washington, D.C., was changed this week to read “no merge area.”

TheBlaze first reported last week that the Arlington County Police Department (ACPD) had purchased the $13,000 electronic billboard to display the “don’t hit the car in front of you” message on the side of a road notorious for rear end collisions.

Officials Abandon Dont Hit the Car in Front of You Road Sign After Critical Coverage

A former road sign just outside Washington D.C. told drivers “don’t hit the car in front of you.” (Photo credit: @amandaxanderson)

Initially, Lieutenant David Green Jr., a spokesman for ACPD, defended the sign, which had been displayed for about two months, saying the area is “one of the highest accident areas in the County.”

“Almost 100% of the accidents at this location are rear end collisions,” he said then.

Green Jr. did not respond to multiple requests for comment from TheBlaze on Friday, but previously told TheBlaze that the “no merge area” language had been used in the past but was found ineffective at lowering the rate of accidents.

no merge area

Officials modified a road sign outside Washington, D.C., to read “no merge area” instead of “don’t hit the car in front of you.” (Photo credit: @amandaxanderson)

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