NCDOT apologized for the content of the erroneous TIMS alerts and assured citizens that the alerts were not official messages.
The alerts sent out Wednesday warned drivers to "stay home" because of "women drivers, rain, Obama Care." Other messages warned of "bad drivers."
After an investigation, NCDOT 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. Officials said the individual violated procedures by failing to turn off the external feed while testing and for the inappropriate test message content.
The contractor was let go immediately for this action.
NCDOT said it will take additional steps to prevent this type of incident from happening again.