A Really Great Idea To Punish Bad Drivers That Has Numerous, Horrific, Unintended Consequences, But That I Would Like to See Implemented Anyways


There are bad drivers out there. I’m not talking about slow drivers, or people who forget to use turn signals. I’m talking about the serious offenders: the drivers that cross over three-lanes to get to the exit. The drivers who view rush hour as an Olympic slalom event. The drivers that have been playing a continuous game of Pole Position. In their heads. Since 1982.

For these dangerous drivers that pose a serious threat to everyone else, I propose this: that every American with a legal driver’s license be issued a firearm, and one bullet.

Before you fill the room with your noisy, screechy objections, just shut up a second. Let me explain.

The bullet isn’t a real bullet, in the cops and robbers definition. This bullet contains a special kind of paint, meant to adhere to a car’s metal exterior. This would enable drivers to “mark” another car by simply firing their gun at the offending vehicle. This paint would be designed to permanently stain the car exterior for 30 days, at which time it would slowly fade.

I don’t know if this kind of paint exists, but that’s a minor point. I’m sure it does somewhere, so let’s just move on with more of the logistics.

The worse the driver, the more times an offending car would be “identified” by others on the road. What better early warning system than a multi-colored blur of motion in your rearview mirror? The worse the driver, the more they’ll stand out.

But Felix, I can hear you ask, won’t this mean our highways will be filled with people firing guns at one another?

Technically, yes. But it’s a small price to pay, I think, for this kind of democratic, self-regulating system.

But Felix, I can hear you ask again, with your persistent questions. But Felix, what if people shoot one another with these guns? Won’t they walk around, paint-stained, for up to 30 days? Won’t this kind of ammunition get abused by, say, bored teenagers who are able to drive but who don’t really have much to do in their free time?

To all the naysayers, I say this: I haven’t thought it through 100%.

But I’m still pretty sure this idea would work. Doing some quick math on the back of a napkin, I think that if I got $15M and a small suburb to agree to be a “pilot” for this program, we could really test this thing out.

I’ve reached out to a few influential politicians, and the one thing that they all seem to say, loud and clear, is: please stop sending us your ideas.

I think it’s high time I took this proposal to the people, so I’m posting up the outlines here on my blog. And I’m going to try to raise some money on Kickstarter, to make this dream a reality. One day soon, I hope this firearm will find its way into every vehicle in America, and angry, aggressive drivers everywhere will be slowed via a terrible rainbow of shame.

And the rest of us drivers can transport ourselves in safety and peace, with both hands firmly holding onto our magical paint guns.

[CC photo via Peter Raymond]

Related:
Car Rollover and Seat Belt Safety Demonstration, Downtown Chicago
Car Insurance Ad Encourages Drivers to Stop and Text
32 Hours, 7 Minutes: Alex Roy
32 Hours, 7 Minutes: Q&A with Director Cory Welles
32 Hours, 7 Minutes: Q&A with Driver Dave Maher

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. I’m all in, but I’m going to need way more than one bullet.

    Mellzah Reply


  2. Damnit, it’s not even April Fool’s. Is that even fair???

    Miki Reply


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