Idea: Paintballing Cars Helps You Drive More Safely

In General, Humor by Michael Sheehan9 Comments

freeway-congestion_paintedFirst of all, before anyone gets any wild ideas, the following article is only AN IDEA. Unless you want to get in big trouble with the Law, I recommend that you DON’T do anything that I say here, well, at least most of it. That all being said, I have come up with a GREAT idea on how to not only get out some of your Road Rage, but also make the roads a bit safer in the process.

The concept is simple. Everyone is given a paint gun with a limited amount of paint pellets. Each pellet is unique to each driver, possibly containing an RFID or some kind of identifier. As one drives down the road or on the highway, they remain vigilant, looking for people who are creating traffic violations of some sort: speeding, running red lights, cutting people off, driving while intoxicated, or something similar.

TrafficOn405Freeway_painted If one encounters someone who is breaking the law, and they want to make a “citizen’s arrest” of sorts, they simply shoot their paint gun at their car (from a close distance). That’s it!

Thus, as one drives, one learns to not only be observant for drivers doing something wrong, but also that the cars that are being driven by bad drivers are the ones that are covered in paint. Those with more paint are the hazards to the road.

The paint would only be removed at Government-approved car washes. When a car comes in to get cleaned, it would be scanned and the RFIDs in the paint are used to identify the “witnesses.” The more paint and unique RFIDs (witnesses), the more expensive the car wash (the “fine”).

Of course, other non-dangerous permutations of this idea can be created. One could use some sort of “laser-tag” technology where cars are equipped with infra-red receivers and “guns”. The concept would be similar where the “laser” would contain a unique identifier in the beam which would be recorded within the IR receiver. Each time a car is “painted” by a laser, there would be a verbal/audible notification that the “bad” driver would receive and each hit would be logged by a counter. The IR receiver would be tied to other receivers on the highway (e.g., the ones used for toll-roads and automated bridge toll deductions), allowing for the data to be transmitted to the DMV or similar organizations. Once a car or driver accumulated a certain amount of “bad points,” they would receive a fine (which could be lessened or removed by going to traffic school).

There are obvious safety concerns with the paintball method and even the laser-tag one. There may be cases where people get hit with paintballs (wouldn’t work too well with convertibles). There would have to be strict governmental control and regulations. Paint guns would require windows to be down and actually could be a bit too “violent” than good, and a driver may become distracted by trying to get a “clean” hit. “Shooting” at someone does give a bit of a sense of satisfaction though. If some sort of laser tag functionality is used, guns could be shot through windows (this depends on infrared or laser technology used) and make less of a mess in the process.


I definitely don’t condone taking the law into one’s own hands, however, with a shrinking police force, there must be other, more creative, ways to “serve and protect” from the standpoint of being a conscientious citizen and driver. Also, as more video gamers hit the roads, they bring new sets of “skills” and abilities that could actually benefit drivers: faster reflexes, ability to focus on multiple “threats” and react accordingly, and using these skills to a safety advantage.

On a more serious side, I have children that are quite a few years away from becoming drivers, but my driver’s education with them is starting now. I instruct them now to watch how cars run red lights or make unsafe lane changes. I fear the days when these young, innocent drivers hit the roads, excited of new freedoms and possibilities. I can only hope that they would drive in a bubble, safe from those who take driving for granted, those who drive distracted or those who simply should not be allowed to have a license. My idea of the paint ball or laser tagging of bad drivers is simply a way to call out this fact: that there is no way to know if a particular driver on the road is a hazard, a nuisance  or driving a “loaded weapon.”

My thought is that some sort of a visual warning or indicator, coupled with a “deputized” citizen policing force, and in conjunction with a government agency to regulate and earn fees from offender, may go a long way toward making our roads safe. Cars are getting smarter, but drivers are getting more lazy and distracted. If we could add some “fun” into the vigilance on the roads, almost a “game-like” scenario, these same roads would become a safer and more fun paths to follow.

HTD says: When driving, be prepared, be careful and be respectful. Who knows, some day your car may be tagged by a paintball or laser showing the world that you are a driver to stay away from.