The funniest electronic sign I saw on a drive to the Phoenix area a couple weeks ago was one on the Arizona side that stated something about The Force and buckling up. (See, it was so funny I can't recall exactly how it went!) That trip, of course, took me back and forth through Riverside County, where a recent freeway sign literally trumped the Star Wars-themed one.
"Inland Empire Supports Donald Trump. Merry Xmas. Vote Donald Trump," read the electronic message sign on northbound I-15, between El Cerrito and Ontario avenues in Corona on Christmas Day.
The thing is, the sign was supposed to be flashing a message about a detour involving the 91 freeway, according to the California Highway Patrol, which is investigating the apparent hacking into the programmable display.
"We don't have anything yet, nothing to go on," CHP Officer Marcelo Llerena confided to City News Service.
Indeed, by the time cops and transportation officials were made aware of the sign, it had been recorded on a couple's cell phone, uploaded to YouTube and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people.
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The Riverside County Transportation Commission reports the sign was tampered with some time Friday. It would not have been an employee, according to an RCTC official, because workers were off for the holiday. Indeed, due to the break, the sign could not be changed back until employees returned to work on Dec. 26.
It's no laughing matter, according to the RCTC Deputy Director John Standiford. "Changeable message signs are critical for traffic safety and communication within the construction zone," he explained. "Enhanced security measures will be implemented to protect the signs and the project from additional vandalism."
Sorry, Ted Cruz supporters.