Speeding is, depending on who you ask, either the scourge of road safety or the most overenforced law on the books. There’s no middle ground here, because there’s no middle ground anywhere in American discourse anymore. Actually, the two possibilities aren’t mutually exclusive; maybe it’s both. Anyway.
In Durham, NC - home of the Durham Bulls, Duke Blue Devils, and North Carolina Central Eagles - residents are starting to fall squarely in the “scourge of road safety” camp. Understandably, then, they were upset when local police began cutting back on programs designed to curb speeding. Upset enough to take enforcement into their own hands in a move that’s either spectacularly brilliant or spectacularly dumb.
According to WRAL 5 in Raleigh, residents are threatening speeding drivers with impromptu paint jobs, done one bright splatter at a time:
A group of Durham residents taking aim at speeders with the threat of a paintball gun said Tuesday that they are “amazed and gratified at the reaction.”
The group, Angry Neighbors With Paintball Guns, posted signs at strategic locations throughout the city, warning motorists to slow down or risk being shot at with a paintball gun.
The best thing about this plan? It can’t go wrong. Because if someone’s doing 40 in a 25, why not surprise them by splattering paint onto their windshield at high speeds? Problem solved!
As you can imagine, Durham police are less than enthusiastic about this new program:
The police department has increased patrols in the area recently, [Durham police spokeswoman Kammie] Michael said and residents have complimented the police department on its response.
“The Durham Police Department enforces traffic laws, and we plan to continue to be responsive to traffic concerns from residents throughout the city,” she said.
Michael said it is a crime to shoot a paintball at a vehicle and that the signs could be a distraction for some drivers and make the problem worse.
Oh, come on. What’s that old saying? Ah yes: “Two crimes make a right.” We all know that. Like when that one guy stole a 12-pack of beer and the clerk shot the guy to death just a couple days ago. They didn’t charge him with murder, they hailed him as a–oh wait, they actually did charge him with murder. Okay, the analogy’s totally invalid. Whatever. I’m not a lawologist or whatever they’re called, but I’m sure this is a phenomenal idea anyway.