What to do with bad drivers?



What to do with bad drivers?

This video has been circling the internet for the past week… if you haven’t already seen it, take a minute and watch it before reading the rest of this post.

As I watch this, I can’t help but wonder what this person could possibly be thinking!  Obviously, this is not the first time this driver has performed this little maneuver, given the that school bus driver was able to catch the act on camera and the police were able to set up a sting operation.  The driver was sentenced to 30 days suspended license and two hours of standing on the side of the street wearing and idiot sign.  Seriously?  This person broke multiple laws, willfully put people’s lives at risk and this slap on the wrist is all she got?

A later video was posted with a snippet of her hearing

where she entered a plea of not guilty.  Clearly, she has not learned anything from this experience, if she was caught on camera multiple times and observed by a police officer.  How is it that this considered acceptable behavior in our society?  This person clearly has no regard for the responsibility she “should” assume when she gets behind the wheel of a car.  Yet, somehow, we as a society just let these people keep driving.  I wish I knew how we could start a bigger conversation about this type of selfish and reckless behavior some people choose to exhibit when they get behind the wheel.  Do you have any ideas about how we can do this?


  • Dennis
    Nov 10, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    The car is just letting her express that behavior in public. Do you really think that she’s NOT self-absorbed when she walks, sits, talks…..?

  • Labann
    Nov 14, 2012 at 9:22 am

    Why is it they constantly report bicyclists or pedestrians killed or threatened yet seldom mention motorists slain in an annual nationwide carnage of nearly forty thousand and millions hurt? Everyone like me who gets around a few hundred miles a week witnesses some bonehead maneuver like this. DPWs and DOTs are usually somewhat complicit. They close major throughways or make no accommodations for traffic detours or typical flow. Several numbered routes might converge upon a single intersection because of commercial or political reasons. Zoning boards rubber stamp approvals and think nothing of the consequences.

    Maybe she had no way to avoid passing school that would get her to a desperately held work destination in time. I leave ½ hour early to avoid school busses and traffic patterns, yet so do many others.

  • Matt Moritz
    Nov 15, 2012 at 9:26 am

    your comment and a conversation I had yesterday make me wonder what the break down of collision causes is, and how each of the causes can be best addressed.

    I can envision that depending on the cause, the remedy/prevention is through more stringent enforcement of existing laws (speed, RoW, traffic controls), context sensitive roadway design (lane width, traffic controls, shoulders), driver education (Law based as well as skills based testing), and refined/new legislation to place more responsibility on drivers (no texting, hands free cell phone, easier prosecution of infractions with out requiring proof of intent).

    • ribicycle
      Nov 15, 2012 at 9:45 am

      I’m becoming a big believer in automated enforcement. We are never going to have the police force available to monitor speed, running red lights, etc. that would be necessary to really make a big dent in badly behaving drivers. However, there are some situations where automation can be easily attained, where a simple measurement(s) tells whether or not the person is committing an offense.

  • Matt Moritz
    Nov 15, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I agree with you, that automated enforcement of some codes such as speed and red lights can and should be done and to good effect as concerns the safety of those using the roadway.

    A recently released study in Virginia showed that automated Red Light cameras do have a desirable impact on reducing the number of red light running infractions at intersections with those devices installed. Reported in Atlantic Cities at the beginning of October, though there has also been some claim that in increases collisions because of sudden stops to avoid being ticketed.


    It partly comes down to impatience, how about an innovation in traffic light design that lets the driver know exactly how long they’ll be waiting, reducing the “edge forward” effect into the cross walk. Something like the ones being deployed in South Korea come to mind:

    Skip forward to 8:30 in this talk about the psychology of control or ,appearance thereof, and happiness.

  • Labann
    Nov 15, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Studies in Europe show that less controls on roads increase safety. However, this includes separate or shareable facilities for cyclists and pedestrians. Key are the addition/retention of wide road shoulders and elimination/limitation of red lights and stop signs (in favor of flashing lights and warning/yield signs). Turning lanes do not flow traffic more smoothly but instead cause more disruptive accidents. License revocations, suspensions, and violator incarceration are the fastest way to rid streets of bad actors.

    With economy beginning to improve, traffic increases, especially during commute hours. More should be done to facilitate motorists being able to park and take either bicycles or public transportation across cities. Can’t even imagine NYC without bicyclists, busses, cabs, ferries, subways, and trains. So many millions of motorists trying to enter and park daily would be impossible.

  • Feb 13, 2013 at 11:06 pm

    lol great sting. I cannot believe anybody could be that stupid. If a child ran out of a driveway she would have been facing far more severe charges. It don’t know which is more rediculous, driving over the pathway or pleading not guilty. Hope she ended up up cleaning the streets for a few weeks after this. 🙂

  • Labann
    Feb 23, 2013 at 9:42 am

    At the heart of this post is bicyclists’ fears of motorist rage. On my bike commute home yesterday, I was beeped from behind, always startling, then cursed through an open window of an SUV full of young men, told to “get off the road”. Passed same SUV stuck behind a queue of cars, who caught up and beeped, buzzed me, trying to force me into the curb. Repassed SUV at bridge, again stuck in traffic. This really angered driver, who leaned on horn and swore. Clearly, I wasn’t the source of his rage, but other motorists. But a bicyclist is a vulnerable dog to kick. There were 6 of them in a tank and me on a bike. This story is so often repeated, with variants of having full cans of beer thrown, it hardly bears mentioning except to underscore the inhumanity that motoring evokes. Cycling is the cure for road rage; since never impeded, you seldom experience impatience. If only roadnet was designed to allow, cycling might even be more efficient than driving through cities at 12 mph. We could cheaply and easily improve roadnet in Newport, Providence and Warwick to allow bicycling. After all, USDOT only spends $1 for cycling for every $250,000 for motoring and deems that’s enough. LaHood is leaving, however, so wonder if even that will be sustained.