Dots backfire in Washington road test

| 8/24/2006

Like several other states, Washington recently decided to paint large, white dots on some highways, and use signs to urge motorists to keep two dots – or 160 feet – between them and the vehicle in front of them.

But according to The Olympian, the plan backfired over the weekend when drivers on Interstate 5 near the Nisqually River Bridge got confused, then slowed down abruptly to try to put two dots between them and the car up ahead.

The result was so much congestion that the highway department issued a public apology and took all the signs down. Now, they’re removing the dots.

A department spokeswoman told The Olympian they still plan to use the dots somewhere – just not at that location.