04/21/2004 at 12:00 AM EDT
It's not that Liverpool, England, isn't proud of the fact that the Beatles came from there. Authorities just fear that promoting that status may lead to car crashes. Britain's Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions has ruled that proposed brown and white road signs reading "Liverpool -- birthplace of the Beatles" on one of Britain's major motorways, the M6, would distract motorists, because the signs would also contain info about other tourist attractions in the city. "There is a limit on the number of words allowed (on signs)," a department spokesman told Reuters. "It comes down to safety grounds -- it was too distracting." (Opponents point out that Stratford-Upon-Avon is allowed to describe itself as "Shakespeare Country.") The spokesmen went on to say that Liverpool's council has agreed to submit a compromise proposal -- one that would remove all references to the Beatles.