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Is Big Brother Watching You?

Cash sign at toll booths

Is Big Brother now watching you while you drive on the Illinois Tollway?

I remember when I-PASS came out in Illinois, a lot of people were saying it was just a way for the government to keep track of you. “Big Brother is watching.” I never really believed that.

Now there is someone new and strange on the Illinois tollway. Is it another way for “Big Brother” to watch us?

Have you been on I-90 between Elgin and Chicago lately? If so, have you seen these things over the road every few miles?

At first, I thought they were for I-PASS, but there are too many of them for that purpose. For most of the summer, they really didn’t do anything. This past weekend when I went to Chicago for the Bear’s game, they had symbols on them.

I had to figure out what it meant, so I went to to find out. It’s a “Smart Road.”

“The new (I-90) Tollway SmartRoad is designed to deliver real-time information to drivers to provide safer, more efficient travel.”

“Over-the-road signs installed every half mile between Barrington Road and the Kennedy Expressway on I-90 allow the Tollway to communicate travel times, traffic incident information, lane closures and traffic pattern changes.”

Here’s what all the signs mean.

Maybe a video will help you understand better.

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It’s always horrible trying to get into Chicago for events. If this helps the commute to get a little bit better than I’m all for it. Even if “Big Brother” knows what I’m up to.

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