Nov. 07--A N.C. Department of Transportation alert warned Raleigh beltline drivers Wednesday of "women drivers, rain and Obama care."
DOT issued an apology late Wednesday after investigating the problem that led to six traffic alert messages that were sent through DOT's Traveler Information Management System, TIMS.
An alert that was sent out at 3:17 p.m. notified the public that a vehicle accident on Lake Wheeler Road was caused by "bad drivers" and made the road impassible.
Another alert sent at 3:52 p.m. notified drivers of a high severity incident on Interstate 440 East in Wake County and advised people to stay home. The accident was caused by "women drivers, rain and Obama care," the TIMS notice said.
"NCDOT sincerely apologizes for the content of the erroneous TIMS alerts and would like to assure citizens that these were not official NCDOT messages," officials said in a DOT email.
After the messages were flagged by DOT, an investigation revealed that a recently hired IT contractor was performing routine tests on the TIMS system and the emails the program generates. The contracted employee violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed during testing and for the "inappropriate" test message content, according to DOT officials.
The contracted employee was let go immediately.
According to DOT, TIMS plays a vital role in delivering important information to keep drivers safe and aware of traffic conditions. DOT plans to take steps to prevent erroneous messages from being sent to drivers in the future.
(c)2013 The Wilson Daily Times (Wilson, N.C.)
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Original headline: DOT apologizes after alert warns drivers of 'women drivers, rain and Obama care'
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