E.T. Progressive Signs

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.”

ecsign.jpgI 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.

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.

et2.jpg
Another one… at the corner of Commerce Street and Berlin Street in East Berlin

You want more?

et5.jpg
At the corner of St. John’s Street and St. John’s Square (which is a road, actually off of Main) in Middletown

et_bethetbet
On the two driveways into Bethlehem’s Town Hall (Note subtle difference)

etnh
Dixwell Ave, heading south right before crazy Goffe St (etc.) intersection in New Haven

et_oxford
Ribs, Chicken, Gas, God and ET – in Oxford (Hat tip to Sally from the comments below for this one.)

et5
At the appropriately brownstoned police station in Portland

…………………………………………………….


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.)

…………………………………………………….


Mills Pond Recreation Area, Canton. (Courtesy of reader Rob Y.)

…………………………………………………….


Library parking lot, Seymour. (Courtesy of reader Jeffrey W.)

…………………………………………………….


Lake Quonnipaug parking lot, Guilford. (Courtesy of reader Karen J.P.)

…………………………………………………….


End of Old Whitfield Street at the boat launch, Guilford.

…………………………………………………….


Exceedingly rare indoor ET. (From reader Michelle B, taken at her office in Avon)

…………………………………………………….

etNH
Another New Haven ET on Whalley Ave at W. Park Ave.

…………………………………………………….

IMG_0933
A reader submission from Midlothian, VA (Thanks Ryan G!)

…………………………………………………….

photo-6
A reader submission from Tavares, FL (Thanks Travis!)

…………………………………………………….

photo-5
A reader submission from the same intersection in Tavares, FL (Thanks Travis!)

…………………………………………………….

BcBn00sCEAAVtKA.jpg-large
A reader submission from Panthorn Park in Southington (Thanks, Rich!)

…………………………………………………….

Return to the Random Lists Addendum.

31 responses to “E.T. Progressive Signs”

  1. Rob says:

    Never liked that movie either. So exactly where is this sign?

  2. EdHill says:

    There’s one in Old Saybrook on Old Chalker Beach road.

    http://tinyurl.com/yqe4ar

    I thought there was a website out there that listed them.

  3. Steve says:

    The first picture was taken at the Berlin Showcase Cinemas parking lot in Berlin.

  4. dee says:

    there’s one on whitney ave by edgerton park in new haven.

  5. Leigh says:

    There is also one near the high school in Trumbull- or at least it was there a few years ago. It does not say “Progressive” on it – Just picture of E.T. with the “Buckle Up” saying.

  6. Jill says:

    I used to live 4 houses down from the Trumbull H.S. I’ll just have to go down & check to see if the sign is still there & then I’ll give you an update on the sign with E.T. on it.

  7. Mariana says:

    There’s a yellow-style sign (sans reference to Progressive) on the road in Panthorn Park in Southington, CT. :) We’ve often driven and walked past it thinking, “What on earth were they thinking — at why E.T.??”

    Now I know. I find it no less odd though!

  8. Ben says:

    school street in woodbury i used to drive past it every day when i went ohome on the bus

  9. Steve says:

    Darn, Ben. I was just there yesterday along Route 6 and noticed School St. going north and again south. I’ll be back out there though… Now let’s see if I can remember this.

    Keep the locations coming. I love it!

  10. Mike says:

    The one in Trumbull is still there and there is at least one other in the area. The first just has “buckle up” but the second also has the “Be Progressive…” part. both are the yellow diamond type sign. I just had my nephew photograph the Trumbull one if anyone wants to see it…

  11. krissie says:

    there’s one at the Exeter/West Greenwich School in RI

  12. Kellie says:

    I just saw one of these at some corporate park behind(or near) Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, there also used to be one at Western CT Sate University, or at least when I went there it was still there.

  13. nick says:

    thanks everyone for posting these pictures and locations.
    if anyone happens to come across any of the “flyers and educational posters and print ads ” for this campaign could you please email. thanks!

  14. Daniel Perez says:

    Does anyone have any Idea what one of these signs would be worth?

  15. Lilly says:

    One of these signs just cropped up outside my sons’ school.

  16. Thor says:

    There is one of these signs (yellow diamond, ET, buckle up) here in Washington State between Marysville and the Tulalip Indian Reservation. If I ever drove by there anymore I would send you a picture.

  17. Major Bukkake says:

    These are in Pocomoke Maryland.

  18. Steve says:

    I refuse to believe that from a guy named Major Bukkake. Sorry.

  19. Sally says:

    There is a yellow sign right next to the Mobile gas station in Oxford CT!

  20. fuzzy turtle says:

    late to the party but there’s one as you’re going into the town of Stony Creek (Thimble Islands)

  21. Sign Siting says:

    There is one outside the former West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, WV. So this was not only a CT thing but nationwide. There are just few left in existence at this point. Metal street signs rust and are replaced all the time. This one was in pretty good shape tho, saw it on a visit to tour the prison (Charles Manson spent time here) or I would furnish a picture for you.

  22. Kris says:

    So cool! I never noticed these signs before.

  23. Travis says:

    Know of two in Florida.. Have pics. Zip code 34778

  24. Rg says:

    I’ve got one hanging inside my shop in the highschool I teach at!

  25. DB says:

    They are not unique to Connecticut. I’ve seen some in Alabama. I know where one is near Ozark, AL. I did not know they were part of an ad campaign for Progressive Insurance. I thought the Alabama Dept. of Trans. put them up on their own, and was wondering if Speilberg knew about it.

  26. SS says:

    I have one in almost perfect comdition. Never been put up. It is a yellow dismond shaped one snd says Be Progressive Buckle Up and has a pic of ET under it.

  27. stan gatlin says:

    I have a white et sign for sale.make offer.email lpvfd333@yahoo.com

  28. Tom R says:

    I have a couple white “Buckle up – by Progressive” – they are new from back in 2000. call me — nine 3 six — six six two — two 4 seven six.

  29. Steve says:

    Where are all these sign sellers coming from? I guess there’s a market for these dumb things, but I’m certainly not in it.

  30. jackie price says:

    We have one on St Simons Island.GA

  31. Carlyn says:

    We have one in Saraland, AL! :)

Leave a Comment

The Out Campaign: Scarlet Letter of Atheism