Texting While in Traffic (TWIT), a new project spearheaded by San Francisco graphic designer Brian Singer, essentially photo shames commuters caught texting while in traffic by plastering photos of their behavior on 11 billboards throughout the city, Gizmodo reports.
Singer began his crusade to show drivers they’re being watched and judged for their commuting behavior after he witnessed an exorbitant amount of drivers on their phones.
“I’ve been blown away by the number of people texting while in traffic, on the freeway,” he tells Gizmodo. “For every nose picker, there’s 20 texters. Unofficial estimation by me.”
Singer hopes the public shaming is a wakeup call for other commuters to think twice before engaging in distracted driving.
The billboards, which don’t include text, feature photos taken by Singer and fellow commuters. Singer says he only takes TWIT photos while riding as a passenger and requires contributors to do the same.
Commuters can submit photos through the TWIT website, which includes information and statistics on distracted driving.
Texting while driving is illegal in California and carries a minimum fine of $75. However, in January, a California appeals court said it was okay for drivers to read maps on their phones while behind the wheel.
As for commuters who think the photos are an invasion of their privacy, Singer doesn’t seem to care.
“I don’t think people driving on 101 have the expectation of privacy,” Singer says. “I could be wrong, but the police need to be able to see them using phones and breaking the law, so all I’m really doing is taking photos in a public place.”
The 11 billboards will remain on display through early April.