Authorities in Finland have cracked the secret to preventing vandalism in public toilets. Last month, the Finish Road Administration authorities put into place a system that allows travelers to access toilets by SMS text messaging the number given on the door of the public toilet.
There are instructions on the doors to toilets and shower rooms, advising prospective users to send a text message “OPEN” to the number given on the door. The call is directed to a modem, which then sounds a buzzer and opens the door.
How does this stop vandalism, you ask? The logic is that the messages will be recorded by mobile phone companies, making it easier to track vandals after break-ins. It may also give them pause to think before they spray, break or smash up the interior, knowing they could be tracked later. Or so authorities hope.
All messages to access toilets will be charged regular SMS rates.