Text by plate to that driver you hate


Ever have a “special message” for that gifted driver who just cut you off? How about a rhythmic haiku for the clueless bamboo who blocked your driveway?

Turns out you’re not the only one who’s ever wanted to convey a little sumtin’ to a driver or car owner near you. A team of San Francisco developers have built a web app to let you give drivers a piece of your mind without ever having to show your face or raise your middle finger.

CurbTXT lets you anonymously send text messages to drivers just by knowing their license plate. Simply compose a text message to CurbTXT along with the state and license number and — if the person has registered with the CurbTXT service — they’ll receive your anonymized message via SMS.

Drivers who register with CurbTXT can get a sticker for their cars indicating they are available to be texted via their license plate. The stickers are available for pickup at 11 locations in San Francisco, mostly in Bernal Heights and the Mission.

There is, of course, the massive catch that the driver be registered on the CurbTXT website to receive forwarded messages. Senders, however, don’t need to register. They do, though, have to properly type and format a text message, which is of course illegal in California and generally unwise to do while driving.

And, of course, CurbTXT isn’t just for furious missives. Good Samaritans, helpful citizens and would-be Romeos can also use CurbTXT to convey messages.

CurbTXT hopes to attract enough users in concentrated areas — like Bernal Heights — to reach critical mass and make their service totally useful. Until then, privately screaming at the top of your lungs inside your sealed car might prove just as cathartic.

Jesse Garnier
Jesse Garnier is the editor and founder of SFBay. A Mission District native, he also teaches journalism as associate professor at San Francisco State University.

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