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Experts warn against breaking into electronic street signs

Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 10:39 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) -You may have seen some electronic street signs around town saying things they aren’t supposed to.

But, why? The latest event was last night, and it quickly went viral.

We’ve all seen signs that say things like “no exiting on Cortaro” or “right lane closed ahead,” but lately there’s been some unwelcomed customization.

And one manager says that can turn dangerous.

The sign is now off today, but last night it read “zombies ahead.”

“I don’t like it, although it is funny. It kind of breaks up your--if you’re sitting in line and waiting in traffic, it makes it interesting,” says Ed Carter, General Manager of Ajax Barricade Co.

Sure it’s worth a chuckle, but Carter says they’re in place for a reason and doing this can lead to problems.

“It can end up causing accidents and...life or death.”

These signs are typically put up by contractors who take on a construction project. In April a viewer sent a picture to us, showing another break-in situation.

And Eric Horne who’s Managed Desert Barricades for 15 years says it’s really a quick fix to make sure it stops happening.

“It’s real simple security, keep them locked up. As long as they’re locked up it takes--well I wouldn’t say it takes an act of god, but it takes a little bit of an effort and somebody’s going to catch you. So, that’s the whole thing. With a simple lock box, lock. Instead of making it accessible to the whole public,” says Horne.

Horne tells KOLD this breaking into the system may be happening because a large number of people have worked in the construction industry and understand the technology.

But before you think about asking your cousin in construction about it...

“Just don’t do it. Even though it may be fun, don’t break anything!”

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