It appears Chinese officials are using a unique — and quite polarizing — tactic to curb highway accidents.
Earlier this week, X user Science Girl took to the platform to share a video filmed on the Qingdao–Yinchuan Expressway in northern China. The footage, which was reportedly taken by a motorist identified as “Mr. Li,” showed bright, multi-colored laser lights beaming from an overhead sign as cars traveled down the highway. The red, purple, blue, and green strobe lights filled the sky above the traffic and did not shine directly into the vehicles.
Science Girl said the feature was intended to keep drivers’ attention and prevent them from falling asleep behind the wheel.
“A video captured on the Qingdao–Yinchuan Expressway displays vibrant laser lights hovering above the vehicles,” the X user wrote. “Mr. Li, the person behind the camera, reported that these laser lights designed to combat fatigue quickly revitalized him and reduced his exhaustion during a prolonged nighttime.”
The video was posted on Nov. 6 and has since been viewed more than 67 million times. Many X users compared the scene to Rainbow Road from the Mario Kart video game franchise, saying it was a creative and effective way to improve safety; however, some weren’t so sold on the idea, arguing that the lights could become a distraction and result in more car accidents. Others also questioned how the feature would affect people with pre-existing conditions, such as photosensitive epilepsy — a condition that can cause one to seizure when exposed to flashing lights.
As Jalopnik pointed out, China isn’t the only country that has implemented anti-sleep features on its public roads. Back in 2017, Australia set up trivia signs on its highways in an effort to keep drivers’ minds engaged during their travels. Some of these signs were placed on a strip of road between Balladonia and Caiguna, which is a straight drive (no turns) for nearly 100 miles.