A friend was driving today (on the Fairfax County Parkway, just south of Route 50, for DC-area folks) and saw one of those movable digital signs that said:
And she was mystified. She told me about this and so was I. And so was Typo Knig.
We’ve all heard of signs telling you to turn off your cell phones or 2-way radios (the risk that they might set off planned explosions such as for construction, only a bit earlier than planned :eek: ). But that doesn’t explain the need to lock the car doors even if a GPS might pose the same radio-signal dangers.
The other thought we had was there was some criminal activity and they were worried someone would run up and jump into your car and abduct you. But that doesn’t explain the GPS.
So - any ideas? I put this in IMHO vs GQ but it coulda gone in either forum.
Seems like a multi-tasking sign. The locking the door thing probably has more to do with straight carjacking than abduction or anything like that. Do GPS systems interfere with those radiation detection thingys they have along some highways these days?
I would assume that GPS receivers don’t send out any signals, so I can’t think they’d be worried about them and not other things like 2 way radio or cell phones. My guess is that maybe either there was carjacking going on with the carjackers targetting cars with GPS units on (that’s another $100 right there) or perhaps people are breaking into cars in grid locked aread and just grabbing the GPS unit right off the windshield. Of course turing them off will really only make them less noticible at night. During the day it woudn’t make a difference.
I know in the Norfolk/Richmond areas of VA they had warnings and discovery of tons of Stolen GPS units from vehicles. I don’t recall though if it was they realized lots were stolen, or they discovered alot of them as being stolen but it was recovered. Needless to say, yeah- I know in VA there’s a warning out as there seem to be Jackers who are out taking GPS navigation systems and selling them in a black market or some such thing in VA Cities.
This sounds almost as bad as that rash of burglaries a few months back where all they were taking were burglar alarms. I guess there’s a market for everything, but a hot burglar alarm strikes me as useless as a screen door on a submarine. I can see it now at some fence’s hock shop: Used Burglar Alarms!
Interesting on the theory of the GPS encouraging breakins. Thing is, they had this on the Parkway, not on any direct approach to any shopping area. For nonlocal Dopers, the road they were on was near the approach to a major regional mall, and also to a place with a few “big box” stores, but the majority of cars where this was would not have been heading for the shopping. If the cars were near a parking lot, it would make more sense for that to be the reason.
A section of Rt. 29 was moved about half a mile East in Montgomery County, MD a few years back and GPS maps haven’t been adjusted yet. Not sure if a corresponding shift on Rt. 50 in Fairfax Co. was ever made, though.
As for the other sign, is there a prison near there? When Lorton Reformatory was still in operation, I remember signs warning drivers not to pick up hitchhikers.
The friend who saw the sign did some googling and per this site (http://www.fairfaxunderground.com/forum/read/2/89221.html) it appears to simply be a public service announcement, as a couple of folk here have suggested. Some other posters to that forum have seen the “turn off” version, but one person snapped a photo of a sign saying “remove GPS”.
As you leave Des Moines IA on I-80 heading east, you see signs like that warning you not to pick up hitchhikers. I always assumed there was some sort of correctional facility nearby. What cracks me up is that about a mile later there is a rest area.
It’s likely that truckers are using GPS and it’s guiding them down roads way too narrow for their trucks. Apparently, there’s no way to tell a GPS unit how big the vehicle is or otherwise persuade it to ignore smaller roads, and there is also no way to persuade some truckers to just ignore the GPS and use more reasonable routes. There’s been an epidemic recently. Searching Google brings up plenty more.