Get ready to hear yet again, over the next 24-48 hours, the story of how radio SigAlerts came to be part of the Los Angeles lexicon. Loyd Sigmon, who created the traffic warning while a co-owner of KMPC radio, died yesterday in an Oklahoma assisted living facility. LATimes.com has an obit by Roy Rivenburg.
A SigAlert, issued when one or more lanes will be blocked for at least half an hour, originally warned of other dangers On Labor Day 1955, the first SigAlert was broadcast by six radio stations warning of a train wreck near Union Station.
Other early bulletins included five warnings of rabid dogs and a ship collision in Los Angeles Harbor. One time, a pharmacist who made a potentially fatal error in filling a prescription called police, who issued a SigAlert. The customer heard it in time...
The term has become so familiar that it was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.