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RALEIGH — Six erroneous and inappropriate traffic alert messages went out over the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Traveler Information Management System (TIMS).

In one of the alerts, traffic conditions was blamed on women drivers, rain and Obamacare.

The NCDOT made the following statement in a press release:

“NCDOT sincerely apologizes for the content of the erroneous TIMS alerts and would like to assure citizens that these were not official NCDOT messages.

After an investigation, NCDOT has learned that an IT contractor, hired less than six months ago, was performing routine tests on the TIMS RSS (Really Simple Syndication) and emails it generates.

The individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing for the inappropriate test message content.

The contractor was let go immediately for this action.

TIMS plays a vital role in delivering important information to keep our drivers safe and aware of traffic conditions. NCDOT will take additional steps to prevent this type of incident from happening again.”