Austin’s Dark Holiday Safety Tweets Raise Eyebrows

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A Texas city is raising eyebrows with its attempt to draw attention to the hazards of distracted driving during the holidays. 

In a series of graphic tweets posted Tuesday, the city of Austin’s transportation department offered a nod to Jimmy Boyd’s 1952 hit song, “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause” albeit with a decidedly darker turn. 

“I saw mommy killing Santa Claus, he disappeared under the truck last night. She didn’t see him cross the street, now his body’s a red streak. She was reading on her phone the latest tweet,” the first tweet read.

“Then I saw EMS putting Santa Claus underneath a sheet of snowy white. Oh, what a sad day it has been with distraction yet again and mommy killing Santa Claus last night. Drive safe for the holidays and put distractions away before you drive,” the next tweet continued.

This is not the first time Austin has attempted to bring awareness to driving hazards around the holidays with Christmas-themed warnings. On Monday, Austin tweeted out an homage to “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer” with “Rudolph the Red Light Runner.” The following day, they tweeted out a warning on the hazards of drunk driving with “Frothy the Snowman.”

“Creating awareness and education around safety is only one part of the community’s Vision Zero goal to bring traffic deaths and serious injuries to zero. The program leads with street improvements and also focuses on policy and enforcement. APD officers will be on patrol looking out for drunk drivers this holiday season with a No Refusal Initiative in effect through Jan. 1,” a spokesman for the city of Austin announced on Wednesday according to Fox News. (RELATED: Alleged Drunk Driver Arrested For Driving Vehicle Up Electrical Pole)

While reactions to the “I Saw Mommy” tweets were mixed, many believed they had gone a bit too far, prompting Austin City Council Member Mackenzie Kelly to reach out to the city manager, Fox News reported. Kelly told the outlet that Austin Transportation Department Director Richard Mendoza addressed the concerns, apologizing and offering his assurances that “the department will establish better controls over messaging going forward.”