SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Two roadwork signs on Long Island were hacked in what appeared to be pro-Donald Trump messages.
TV 10/55’s Long Island Bureau Chief Richard Rose reported the signs were hacked hours before the first presidential debate on Monday night.
The portable Highway Department sign on Route 25 in rural Suffolk County asked drivers to “Vote For Donald Trump.”
Another state Department of Transportation sign was hacked on Ocean Avenue in Ronkonkoma reading “Trump – Suck One Hillary” before it was removed.
Many who saw the sign were outraged.
“I’m not finding that anybody is taking any of the political candidates seriously, and it’s kind of sad right now, because if they’re going to be our future leader, we’re making a mockery of our government,” said Dyanna Dimperio of Patchogue.
A spokesman told TV 10/55 “the New York State Department of Transportation takes tampering very seriously, additional precautions are being reviewed.”
Adding that someone managed to open the locked box containing the computer that controls the portable signs’ message, Ronkokoma couple Robert and Catherine Ambrosini wondered who could have gained such access to state-owned property.
“I believe the law of the land is you shouldn’t be doing that. If you are caught, I think you should be prosecuted. That’s the law and it should be enforced,” Robert Ambrosini said.
“I think it’s basically a demonstration of what politics is all about,” Catherine Ambrosini said. “I see it as a reality TV show.”
The Highway Department said that since contractors normally control the portable signs’ messages, they too will be questioned about how these signs means to promote road safety instead promoted political opinions.
Most highway signs are in fixed locations and controlled by state managers. None of those were hacked.