We’ve all seen those electronic road signs on the highway every day that read, “Expect Delays,” or “Wear a Seatbelt,” or “Traffic Ahead.”
In Haegerstown, Maryland someone decided it would be a funny idea to hack an electronic message sign overnight to display a racial slur. It is now being investigated by Maryland State Police, according to WDVM.
In the Maryland case, the investigation found that the lock on the display was pried open for someone to gain access and change what was on the sign. Now, it’s being investigated as a hate crime, according to a statement from Maryland State Police.
Around 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, a motorist reported the sign on Route 40 at Smithfield Lane in Washington County. The police immediately moved and disabled the sign once they arrived on the scene. The sign is owned by Maryland State Police. It was just installed a week earlier, originally reading, “Do Not Text and Drive.”
Police started an investigation right away, questioning businesses and individuals in the rural setting. At this moment, no arrests have been made, and no suspects or vehicle descriptions have been released.
In a news release, Maryland State Police said, “Troopers placed the message board at that location approximately one week ago with an important safety message for motorists about distracted driving. The original electronic message was programmed to read, ‘do not text and drive.’ No arrests have been made, and there are no suspects or suspect vehicle descriptions at this time. No arrests have been made, and there are no suspects or suspect vehicle descriptions at this time.”
Specifics, regarding what racial slur flashed on the electronic sign have not been released.