Washington State Takes to the Skies to Combat Graffiti with Drone Technology


Key Takeaways:

– Washington state officials will utilize drone technology to tackle graffiti vandalism issues.
– Governor Jay Inslee has signed House Bill 1989, initiating a pilot program for ‘spray drone technology’.
– The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) will oversee the pilot program.
– WSDOT spent over $1.4 million over the past two years on graffiti removal and expects the number to rise.
– Areas of focus are graffiti around Interstate 5, Tacoma to Seattle, and the northern Spokane corridor.
– The bill also supports the use of new cameras to Id ward off and identify perpetrators.

Drones Aid in The Fight Against Graffiti Vandalism

Taking a step further than just using drones for fighting wildfires and assisting police, Washington state’s officials have decided to employ these unmanned vehicles to combat graffiti vandalism. Under the newly signed House Bill 1989 by Governor Jay Inslee, the state’s transportation department will test ‘spray drone technology’ to cover existing graffiti.

Spray Drone Technology’ Pilot Program on The Horizon

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is to be in charge of the proposed pilot program that will explore the effectiveness of these drones in cleaning illegal markings on public surfaces. The last two years have seen the state spend $1.4 million on graffiti removal efforts, an expense it expects to rise in the near future. This initiative marks a significant shift in approach, offering a unique solution to a challenge faced by communities across the state.

Targeted Focus – Interstate 5 and North Spokane Corridor

The department’s main areas of focus for this drone-led graffiti elimination campaign will be around Interstate 5, from Tacoma to Seattle, and towards the northern Spokane corridor. These are regions particularly affected by graffiti vandalism, thus drone intervention is believed to most meaningfully impact these regions and assist in restoration efforts.

Technological Support – New Cameras on The Cards

The new legislation is not solely focused on the utilization of drones. It also plans to use new camera technology for deterrence and identification of culprits. With this multi-tiered approach, the state aims to further enhance surveillance and tighten security.

Statewide Concern Addressed with New Measures

Representative Andrew Barkis, the bill’s sponsor, expressed the urgency and severity of the graffiti issue in the state. He stated that the graffiti explosion warrants an immediate and comprehensive response. This legislation acknowledges the frustration felt by Washingtonians about graffiti vandalism on state roadways and sends a clear message that such actions won’t be tolerated. The aim is to prevent the actions of some individuals from negatively impacting the narrative of their communities.

‘Spray drones’, the tools at the heart of this solution, have regularly been deployed in agricultural settings for pesticide delivery. Ironically, some drones have been used to create graffiti. This makes their use in graffiti removal a strategic inversion of roles, aiming to restore and maintain the beauty of public spaces in Washington state.


To sum up, the adoption of drone technology by Washington State to combat graffiti is a noteworthy step in merging technological advancements with public service. This innovative move, if successful, could pave the way for other states and territories to follow suit, using technology to address long-standing community issues. Supported by effective surveillance strategies, this integrated approach could write a new chapter in public space maintenance and vandalism prevention. By transforming a tool infamous for creating graffiti into one utilized to erase it, Washington is determined to change the narrative in its battle against graffiti vandalism.

Jonathan Browne
Jonathan Brownehttps://livy.ai
Jonathan Browne is the CEO and Founder of Livy.AI

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