posted 11 months ago

Road Warrior Paints His Own White Arrows to Speed Commute

Commuter tired of rush hour delays paints his own lane marks to improve the flow of traffic – but what would you do?

CCTV footage revealed

A frustrated commuter with an unorthodox approach to problem solving has been filmed painting arrows on a busy, congested, road to improve the traffic flow in China. The security footage opens with a wide shot of the crossroad junction that incorporates several lanes, pedestrian crossings and lots of high-speed traffic.

Mr Cai, twenty-eight, is visible in the left lane wearing a coat and carrying a pot of white paint. “This is not a transport official”, text on the footage says. Furthermore, the official, authorised, marks confirm the lane is only for traffic turning left. Mr Cai, however, thought he could improve this configuration. 

But how? He concluded that traffic in the left lane is typically light whereas traffic in the adjacent, straight ahead, lanes is heavier. This inspired a plan. It was to paint a white, straight ahead, arrow in the left hand lane to optimise the flow of traffic. 

"I saw the straight lanes were always packed with cars while the lane that turns left has a lot of space", Mr Cai explained. “I thought changing the painted signs would make my commute smoother."

The footage shows the road warrior working diligently to paint a clear, tidy, arrow on the road. He further demonstrated a daredevil attitude to personal safety. The junction was open to traffic, he lacked high visibility clothing, and there were no physical barriers to separate him from cars, buses, and motorcycles.

Police fine paint brush warrior

Despite Mr Cai’s best intention, the police took a dim view of his unauthorised brush strokes. He was therefore intercepted at the scene by two officers, interviewed and fined one-thousand yuan (about one-hundred and ten pounds). The police described his actions as “very dangerous” and said he could have caused a crash.

Furthermore, the footage shows part of his interview at the police station that itself could benefit from a new coat of paint. “Everyday after work I take the bus and go past that junction”, Mr Cai explained. “The traffic there is awful every day. I just thought I would add a straight ahead arrow to the left turn lane.”

Social media reacts

Mr Cai has been widely discussed on social media. “What a brave dumb guy”, one contributor argued. Another said he should have “worked at night”. Many said they have been tempted to take similar action. This poses an interesting question: if do-it-yourself road work was legal and safe, what would you change to aid your commute?