Tired of seeing skid marks covering roads in your neighbourhood? So is the council of a Melbourne suburb, and they're set on stopping the dangerous driving that causes them. That's why they're putting down a new coating that they hope will stop burnouts and skids on public roads.
Hume City Council, a suburb of Melbourne, Australia, is tired of the type of dangerous driving called hooning. It's the show-off type of driving that includes burnouts, donuts, drifts - or skids - and any other driving where a vehicle deliberately loses traction. What the kids call "having fun".
Hooning is a big problem in Australia, and police there take it seriously. Even Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton got a hefty fine for doing a burnout before the 2010 Australian Grand Prix.
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So what to do about it? Australian newspaper The Age reports that Hume City Council is taking an aggressive step. They're spraying roads with a coarse aggregate spray. Basically giving the surface of the road more bite. That serves two functions to stop spinning tires. The first is that the spray adds traction to the surface. That makes it harder to spin the tires in the first place. The second is that the rough surface will tear through a spinning tire.
"If a driver attempts to drive dangerously on this type of road, it would be difficult for a driver to spin their wheels," Sustainable Infrastructure and Services director Peter Waite told The Age. "If they did manage it, they would burn through the rubber of tyres faster than on a smooth road surface," Waite said that it would not affect the tires of vehicles driven appropriately.
Hume police inspector Anthony Brown said that the locations of the spray were secret, but it won't take drivers long to figure out where to sit and where not to spin. Brown called the driving behaviour "a serious risk of death or serious injury to both the drivers and the bystanders, and it's not just them having a fun time, it poses a serious risk to themselves and other people."
So good news for safety and tire stores (and maybe tow trucks), bad news for potential Formula Drift champions.