Pranks Involving Electronic Road Signs Stir WorryAuthor/Presenter: Suhr, Jim
Electronic message boards meant to warn motorists of possible trouble on the road increasingly are being taken over by pranksters putting drivers on notice about everything from Nazi zombies to raptors. The latest breach came during morning’s rush hour on Tuesday, February 3, when hackers changed a sign, which was meant to warn drivers of crews replacing guardrails near St. Louis, suburb of Collinsville, Illinois, to read, “DAILY LANE CLOSURES DUE TO ZOMBIES.” While those signs amused some motorists, they are illegal. In Illinois, messing with an official traffic control device is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a $250 fine — half what a culprit might have to pay in Texas if caught. In Indiana, such mischief would be a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and $5,000 in fines.