Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Charleswood drivers shocked by profane sign

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IF fines don't work and suspensions don't work, then maybe a little profanity will?

On Sunday, some Charleswood drivers were shocked to find an electronic road sign instructing them to "Slow The F-Down."

But MPI didn't just finally snap on lead-footed 'Tobans. Rather, the sign -- used by MPI under contract -- was apparently hacked by a digitally savvy mischief-maker. A nearby sign had its message changed to a ribald rhyme urging women to show a little skin in honour of the Jets.

"We were surprised as anybody that the signs were able to be breached and have the messaging changed," MPI spokesman Brian Smiley said Sunday, noting the signs had been used for a wildlife safety campaign. "We've worked with messaging previously and never had an incident. We're disappointed that someone would do this."

Smiley said after learning of the breach, MPI immediately contacted the company that owns the signs to have them turned off.

It appeared locks on the signs' control panels had been broken, allowing the n'er-do-well access, Smiley said. By Sunday evening, the locks were replaced and the signs were back to normal.

In the meantime, some who saw the hacked signs said they had a good chuckle -- and slowed the eff down, of course.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 17, 2011 B1

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