Hacked construction signs are no laughing matter

An example of an electronic road sign.An example of an electronic road sign.

Some may see it as a practical joke, while others know it’s no laughing matter.

Some jokester thought it would be funny to break into the back of an electric construction sign on an Alaskan roadway. The person changed the message on the sign to read “money over the b-word.” The sign caught the attention of many passing drivers during the night.

“I was coming home, and driving down 5th Avenue, looked up and there was there was the sign that had been changed,” said DOT spokesperson Jill Reese. “It was humorous not only to me but to several people that were creating a traffic jam, by stopping and putting on their flashers, and taking pictures.”

The sign may have been funny to some, but it could have been extremely dangerous. Several drivers reportedly stopped to take pictures which caused minor traffic jams. If the sign had not been fixed within 30 minutes, there’s no telling the amount of damage it could have done. After all, a distracted driver is a hazard to highway safety.

“In this case thankfully, nothing bad came of it in terms of public safety, other than perhaps some messages that you wouldn’t want your kids seeing,” said Wasilla police officer Eric Manrique.

This wasn’t the first time somebody had hacked a road sign in Alaska. In 2012, several signs were changed to read “Impeach Obama.”

“This happens every once and a while to not only our signs, but across the country, but it’s also just another example of hackers that have that kind of ability and information,” said Reese.

The DOT wants to make it clear to everyone that messing with road signs is against the law and the people doing it will be prosecuted if/when they’re identified.