The D-SLR as an Intimidatation Tool to Bad Drivers

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005.

  1. I walk my kids to school every morning, 2 blocks, amid a sea of Honda
    Odysseys, Toyota Siennas, and assorted SUVs. There are two intersections
    with crosswalks, where at least several times per week, some driver, usually
    a parent driving their kids to school (some of which live closer than we do
    to the school) fails to yield to kids entering the crosswalk. I have tried
    various approaches to dealing with this.

    1. I request enforcement from the local sheriff (we contract with the county
    sheriff for police services). This works on the days they show up, but is
    not a practical solution.

    2. I have a crossing-guard stop sign, that I use, and an air powered boat
    horn, but these are cumbersome to carry, and embarass my kids.

    3. I have angrily thrown things at cars that do not stop, but this is bound
    to get me into trouble.

    So one day I decided to carry my D-SLR with me, and take pictures of
    vehicles that do not yield the right of way. This has proven to be quite
    successful. It totally freaks out the moms to have their car photographed
    blocking the crosswalk, and they appear to be cured of this offense. On the
    three occasions where I have done this, either that same day, or a few days
    later, the driver will see me walking and confront me. This morning was a
    classic, as the mom was complaining to me about people walking to school
    impeding traffic.
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005
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  2. Steven M. Scharf

    Owamanga Guest


    Have you set up a hall-of-shame gallery on pbase yet? Then you can
    pass around little business cards with the URL on to any parents that
    are interested...
    Owamanga, Jun 6, 2005
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  3. Steven M. Scharf

    Jer Guest

    Kewl! A citizen's version of the Stop Light Cam with a public web
    interface. If it's good for the goose....
    Jer, Jun 6, 2005
  4. Steven M. Scharf

    rbehunin Guest

    The Hall of Shame, or Wall of Shame (depending on where can can post
    the photos) is a good idea of how to deal with this.

    If the offenders are parents of the children attending the school, you
    may be able to get the school to let you post hard copies of the photos
    somewhere in the school on a "Hall of Shame" or "Wall of Shame" to get
    the offenders to tow the line.

    Peer presure can do wonders in a case like this. Becky, Johnny, Fred,
    are not happy in class because their mother or father is on the wall of
    shame for not yeilding to the students crossing the street.

    Now, this does present problems for the students in the school, and
    dealing with peer presure. Not sure if you want to go there.

    rbehunin, Jun 6, 2005
  5. Excellent idea. A few years back, someone set up a web site called the
    "Highway 17 Hall of Shame" with photos of bizarre things that drivers were
    doing. It was even featured on CNN!
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005
  6. Unfortunately, the present school administration at this school is
    unconcerned about the safety issue of kids walking or cycling to school. The
    previous principal was the opposite, he would stand outside in the morning
    lecturing parents, and directing traffic. We get a new principal next year,
    and we'll see if she is any better.
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005
  7. Steven M. Scharf

    Alan Browne Guest

    Have you noticed a cellphone correlation?
    Alan Browne, Jun 6, 2005
  8. "I walk my kids to school every morning, 2 blocks, amid a sea of Honda
    Odysseys, Toyota Siennas, and assorted SUVs."

    Did you choose to live in a part of the world where people own such
    things, or did it decay around you?
    James Of Tucson, Jun 6, 2005
  9. No. Only once did someone that was so distracted by talking on the phone,
    almost hit us. I confronted her at the school, and she was still talking on
    the phone and just walked away. Later she drove past me while I was walking
    home and apologized, claiming that it was an urgent call. Well it was so
    damn urgent, pull over and talk.

    The parents are singularly focused on getting their kids to school on time.
    They will stop at stop signs, but they will not actually look for
    pedestrians before they leave the stop sign. The police are out about once
    every two weeks doing ticketing, but it is not sufficient.

    I hate being over-protective, but it was a lot different when I was in
    elementary school, and even in first grade we walked or rode our bikes to
    school, by ourselves (and with no helmets of course).
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005
  10. I guess it is my own fault.

    Honda should film a TV commercial for the Odyssey in my neighborhood. Even
    the motorcycle cop I talked to one day noted the amazing number of Odysseys.
    The local Chevrolet-Chrysler dealer closed down last year, since few people
    in my city would consider a Chrysler or Chevy minivan..
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 6, 2005
  11. Fu*king fat lazy b*stards.

    Craig Marston, Jun 6, 2005
  12. Steven M. Scharf

    Alan Browne Guest

    Damned Honda! How dare a company make a good, simple, reliable product?
    Alan Browne, Jun 6, 2005
  13. Steven M. Scharf

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    The cellphone connection is pure hype. People constantly do monumentally
    stupid and dangerous things on the road, cellphone or not.
    Jeremy Nixon, Jun 6, 2005
  14. I guess it is my own fault.

    I was just chatting with an old friend who bought 5 acres and a (albeit
    very humble) house in upstate NY for, are you sitting down? $2,300.
    That's two thousand, three hundred dollars.

    I've been looking for anything decent in or near Tucson AZ for under a
    quarter million, and failing to find it.
    James Of Tucson, Jun 7, 2005
  15. Steven M. Scharf

    Alan Browne Guest

    A U of Toronto study correlated cellphone/auto accidents to the same
    rate as those of drivers with blood-alcohol levels at 0.08.

    It and nother studies showed that even hands-free devices do not help
    things very much.

    I've had over a dozen close calls with people busy on their cell phones
    over the past 7 or 8 years.

    Driving cars and talking on cellphones really are a bad combo. I do it,
    with an earbud, but I don't like it and I do feel like I have less
    attention on the road. I'm a very self-critical driver (from my flight
    instructor days). I often pull over or tell the other end to wait 10 or
    30 minutes.

    Alan Browne, Jun 7, 2005
  16. Steven M. Scharf

    Jeremy Nixon Guest

    How could a study possibly do that with anything greater than the same kind
    of anecdotal accuracy we already get?
    I'm sure they don't. I find it a lot more distracting to use one than to
    just hold the phone in my hand.
    Yeah. When someone cuts you off, you yell "asshole!" When someone cuts
    you off and is on the phone, you yell "asshole, and he's on the PHONE!
    AH HA!" It's something you don't notice when it's absent.

    I've had over a dozen close calls with people *not* busy on their cell
    phones in the past 7 or 8 days. It's just that you don't keep a running
    count of "close calls with people not on the phone" like you do when you
    notice the phone.
    Me too. I'll answer a call sometimes, if there's no traffic and the road
    isn't difficult and it's not wet or whatever, but I'll usually stop. Still,
    I think it's just an excuse, blaming the phone. It's as though, when people
    see someone do something dangerous, they have an emotional need to blame the
    phone, or some other thing, because accepting that so many drivers are just
    plain stupid would change their entire outlook on driving. Even if the
    person *is* on the phone, it wasn't the phone that caused the stupid move;
    it was the driver being dangerous.

    Sometimes I just want to be able to take these people aside and say, "Look,
    what you're doing right now is one of the most dangerous things you will
    probably *ever* do. Don't you think you should take it seriously? Maybe
    learn how to do it well?"

    Then I realize that there are people out there who buy used tires and put
    them on their car. They buy tiers that someone else didn't want on their
    car any more, and then drive around on them, on the highway, at 80 miles
    per hour, 18 inches off the bumper of the car in front of them. No, they
    don't want to take it seriously. They want to die, and take me with them.
    That's the only logical explanation. Phones are the least of it.
    Jeremy Nixon, Jun 7, 2005
  17. Steven M. Scharf

    G.T. Guest

    I'll have to carry my Rebel XT with me to work. I walk to work every day
    and even though the local police have sporadically focused on motorists who
    don't stop for crosswalks no one ever stops, even when there is a cop
    sitting there. And here in California ANY intersection is considered a

    G.T., Jun 7, 2005
  18. Steven M. Scharf

    G.T. Guest

    Sounds like you live in a better community than mine. I walk by an
    elementary school on my way to work and the parents rarely stop at the stop

    G.T., Jun 7, 2005
  19. Steven M. Scharf

    Alan Browne Guest

    I don't know. Make inquiries.
    Again, there's little difference between the two as far as accident
    rates go (per the study). I drive a stick, so the earbud is a necessity
    unless crusing. Even then, I prefer the earbud.
    Actually I do. When I see roadway stupidity, I look for the cellphone.
    If I don't see it, then I assume they're stupid, careless or drunk.
    These days there are more people with cellphones glued to their heads.
    The 'kind' of close call is different. I've had guys drift out of their
    lane, people drive through lights/stops, etc. People hit their brakes
    for no reason. Common factor: hand held cell phone.

    More common, less dangerous, but worrisome is people who don't keep
    track of who has right of way at a stop... people distracted on a
    cellphone are pretty bad on ROW.
    Cell phones are much more dangerous than you realize or care to admit.

    I suppose that the first thing to do is to add the data collection to
    accident reports (police). However, for most accidents, the police
    don't even get involved ... the parties fill out the mutual declaration
    or file with their respective insurance, etc. Nobody would check a
    'Cellphone in use box' volluntarilly ... but a cop would if he saw one
    was in use or asked the drivers. (And it's so easy to check with the
    cellphone cos.).

    Many cities and some states have banned use of a cellphone without some
    form of handsfree. Not lightly done. Many states have pending
    legislation. Cell phone companies protest for some reason.

    I won't cry if it's banned here. And frankly, there was much hew and
    cry over mandatory seatbelt use too. It's now mandatory in all
    provinces (Canada) and 49 states (US).

    Alan Browne, Jun 7, 2005
  20. There is certainly a correlation between accidents and cell phone use. It is
    one of the biggest causes of distracted driving. Every study (excluding ones
    funded by cell phone carriers) has shown this. Furthermore, using a
    hands-free device doesn't make much difference, because it isn't physically
    holding the phone that is the problem, it's that you're not paying attention
    to the road.
    Steven M. Scharf, Jun 7, 2005
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