Is Hawaii's solution to illegal street drifting an increased support for draconian law enforcement or enactment of anti-hoon legislation? Nope. Anti-skid road surfaces that have the added bonus of making the roads safer for everyone and faster for enthusiasts.
Residents along Hawaii's twisty mountain roads have long complained of the noise and danger caused by punk kids illegally drifting, but the police haven't been able to deter the practice. Rather than fitting speed cameras, speed bumps or otherwise ruining the roads for slightly more law-abiding drivers, the local government plans to pave the mountain curves in a high-grip surface that'll virtually eliminate skidding and therefore drifting.
In this instance called Tyregrip, but also known as Shellgrip in the UK where it's used to improve the safety of very dangerous corners and slippery bridges, the technology packages a very sharp aggregate inside a tough resin and is applied on top of the existing road surface. It's typically impregnated with a contrasting color to alert drivers to its presence. It works like very rough sandpaper, increasing the friction between a tire and the road, dramatically improving grip. It's not used across long stretches of road because that increase in friction also results in a proportional increase in tire wear. The surface works especially well in wet weather, where the sharp points of the aggregate provide very good levels of grip even when covered in water.
In addition to making drifting nearly impossible, the surface will increase general safety by improving grip levels, especially in the rain. Of course, more grip also equals faster corner speeds for drivers like you and me.
Hawaii plans to install test strips of Tyregrip on eight sections of road popular with drifters. If it proves successful at limiting their antics, it'll be rolled out through other trouble spots too. [via MSNBC]