notification system designed to keep vehicles moving brought traffic to a halt
in South Carolina during the weekend.
On Saturday, Aug. 6,
two inmates escaped from a jail in Lexington County, SC, and were suspected to
be in the Charlotte area.
But the two escapees
weren’t what stalled traffic on Interstate 77. It was the long-winded
description of the men on the overhead highway information signs.
According to the Charlotte
Observer, two message boards within a few miles of each other displayed the
following wording: “WANTED,” “ESCAPEES,” “WHT INTREPID,” “RD TOYOTA TRK,”
“JMA-2304 VA TAG” and “CALL 911 IF SEEN.”
Although the state
tries to enforce a “less is more” strategy for its electronic highway signs,
even the technicians who entered the information into the signs said they could
see traffic slowing down and eventually coming to a halt as drivers tried to
digest all of the information.
“We saw them slow
down because it was such a strange message,” Ann Lorscheider, an engineer with
the South Carolina Intelligent Transportation Systems division, told the Observer.