CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) — It’s not the type of message morning commuters expected to see on their way to work.
A traffic sign, which usually reads “road work ahead,” was changed to include an offensive phrase containing the “F” word. It happened on East Stonewall Street, by I-277 around 3 a.m.
The sign usually displays detours or other advisories on construction.
Queen City News Anchor Ann Wyatt Little noticed the sign on her way to work.
“That’s really messed up,” said Charlotte Resident Jordan Flowers. “And it’s rude because I’m driving in the morning and have to see that.”
“I’m a nurse so I’m up pretty early,” added Charlotte Resident Olivia Miller. “I guess that’s one way to wake up.”
It turns out, the sign is being rented by a contractor from Solar Tech.
Queen City News reached out to Solar Tech to find out how this could’ve happened.
A representative there says the signs can sometimes get hacked into online, but there’s also an “on board” touchscreen that anyone who may have previously worked in traffic control might be familiar with.
Potentially, those people can walk up on-site, type in something naughty or inappropriate, and then walk away.
“That’s unbelievable,” said Charlotte Resident Thomas Benton. “It’s pretty absurd and definitely doesn’t need to be on a billboard for people to see — especially kids.”
“I guess it depends on the audience,” added Miller. “I think it’s funny — but a family with kids would definitely be upset.”
Solar Tech tells Queen City News there are passwords and ways to lock people out to prevent this type of thing from happening.
“Great way to start off your workday, ya know?” said Benton.
“I mean I probably would’ve laughed,” said Flowers. “But I’d also be like — who did that?”