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Want To Drive Like A Jerk ? Then Wear An Idiot Sign!

On Monday, A Cleveland Municipal Judge Oredered A 32 Year-Old Woman To Wear A Sign For 2 Days At An Intersection Where She Was Caught On Camera Driving On A Sidewalk To Avoid Children Getting Off A School Bus.

The Sign: “Only An Idiot Drives On The Sidewalk To Avoid A School Bus.”

What do you think ?
Appropriate punishment ?
Would you like to see this approach applied to other driver violations ?


I Forgot To Mention The Rest Of The Punishment, License Suspended For 30 Days And $250 In Court Costs.


Sounds good to me.

I’m fine with that list of penalties for that jerko driver.

I’m not generally an advocate of public humiliation, because I don’t think it teaches the correct lesson. It creates fear of public humiliation, as well as the use of public humiliation as a control behavior, and teaches nothing about the matter that was the violation.

I’ve seen and read far too many incidents of children being publically humiliated for punishment, and having been submitted to public humiliation myself as a child I don’t like it. It’s a horrible thing to do to a person. It can leave lasting scars.

Don’t get me wrong, what she did was serious and she was just lucky nobbody was run over. I’m in favor of the maximum punishment allowed by the law in cases such as this. But I don;t think public humiliation is the answer. Of course, a might feel differently if I’d seen her behavior in court…

I tend to agree with mountainbike. At what point do you stop with this? On the next corner will be someone holding a sign stating they’re an idiot for not making a complete stop before making a right turn on red, another corner will have a someone with a sign stating they were doing 40 in a 25 and so on.

My opinion would be to double the fine to 500 dollars and order the lady to spend X number of hours at the school cleaning the bathrooms, cafeteria, etc.

While I would never do what this lady did, if a judge ordered me to stand there with a sign I’d tell him to take a hike and send me to jail. That could open up another can of worms.

I think in this case public humiliation was acceptable, simply because this person was foolish enough to drive onto the sidewalk to avoid a school bus, endangering the kids on the bus and the people on the sidewalk, to me that’s a lot more severe than going 55 in a 45 zone.

I’ve seen and read far too many incidents of children being publically humiliated for punishment, and having been submitted to public humiliation myself as a child I don’t like it. It’s a horrible thing to do to a person. It can leave lasting scars.

That’s the point, it’s a deterent. Did you repeat the same actions that resulted in your public embarrassment after experiencing the consequences the first time?

Perhaps, but IMHO it’s not good juris prudence. IMHO our justice system should not be sanctioning public humiliation as a punishment.

I agree “same” with both your posts, 100% ! The next step could very well be some one comming up with " sterilization to keep jerks from multiplying". Then, we need some one to define what it takes to be a jerk…I’m afraid in some eyes, I have qualified many times over during my lifetime.

Just publishing criminal activity as public record should be enough. It keeps me from robbing banks and driving like a fool (jerk).

I don’t ever buy the “slippery slope” argument, and I think we’ve gone too far to protect people’s self esteem. I think we need to bring back dodgeball (with Nerf balls) and dunce caps.

There is something “old world” about humiliation that seems to make people humble, and in my view, this world needs more of it.

I think this video might give you an idea of why I feel this way.

The problem with virtually any type of punishment is that someone will always find an argument for why it is inappropriate.

Instead of the “public humiliation” coupled with a 30-day license suspension and $250 in fines, imagine if the court instead suspended her license for 90 days and imposed $500 in fines.

Do you know what the result of that penalty would likely be?
Some folks would say undoubtedly something along the lines of…“How do you expect her to get to her job in order to support her family for those 90 days?”…and others would likely say…“See–all the government cares about is money, and that is why they impose such high fines”. The derisive term, “revenue generators” would be used to describe the police, the courts, and…God only knows what other parts of the governmental structure.

The bottom line is that you can’t please everyone.

I think that the court actually did this woman a favor by not suspending her license for a longer period of time and for not imposing a higher fine.

Watched the video. It’s totally irrelevant. What the kid’s idiot parents were doing has nothing whatsoever to do with self esteem, and bears no relationship to my beliefs.

The debate is about whether the court should be able to order people to to publically humiliate themselves as a punishment, and whether that works. I contend that, since she potentially endagered the lives of schoolchildren, a 6-month license suspension PLUS a fine and mandattory completion of a driving education school is more in line with a correct punishment.

The video is more of a promotion for abortion. The kids parents’ parents shoud have had one.

My guess is that we’re going to have to simply agree that we disagree on this one. We’re of different minds here.

Give public humiliation a shot. It might work. It did in Carbondale, PA. A bar there used to have a penalty box outside the front door. If you behaved badly, you were sent to the penalty box for a predetermined time. All your friends would see you in the box and give you a hard time. After your penalty was served, you could go back into the bar. Presumably, you could be ejected from the game for fighting. I had a couple of friends in college from Carbondale, and they said it worked.

JT, I ilke that idea, but it’s a friendly embarassment of an adult at a bar as immediate response to a specific poor behavior action. And if someone cannot accept it, they have the right to just go home. The “punishment” is actually voluntary.

I think that idea should be applied in all bars. It’s the best I’ve heard yet.

You have to know the whole story here. The incident was on the Today show twice. The first time was the video of the woman pulling up on a sidewalk to pass the school bus that was picking up a handicapped child. She passed within inches of the emergency exit for a child care center at a fairly high speed.

The second time it was shown on the show was when she was caught. BTW, she did this almost everyday so the bus driver, after taking the first video, got the police department to wait for her and they caught her the next day.

They showed her first court appearance as well and interviewed her mother. The woman came off like she was just too important to be held up by a school bus, the handicapped child just took too long to load. BTW, if I remember correctly, she drove a BMW and was apparently an executive of some kind. I don’t think a fine was much of a deterrent to her.

I doubt of the sentence made a dent in her ego either.
If there truely were repeat incidents, and it sounds like there was definite evidence of that, some jail time and a good long suspension of her license would be more appropriate. I’d vote for that.

Another big problem I have with a punishment like this is that it’s so arbitrary. Would this judge have handed out the same sentence if the person who drove over the sidewalk was the lead partner in the biggest law firm in town, a city councilperson, a city cop or fireman, and so on? Not likely at all.

(I know, I know; cops wouldn’t do this. In the real world, cops often do dumber things than drive over sidewalks.)

That punishment has the appearance of being personally vindictive but it might be just the right punishment for that woman. In my opinion it was not over the line, but it’s getting close.

Punishment is related partly to how the defendant behaves in court. If the judge thought she was not sorry enough, he may have upped the punishment. But we can’t know that.

Here is a local broadcast from Cleveland, the Today Show got an interview with the mother but considering how she came off on that show, she was wise to keep her mouth shut for the local reporter. Looks like I was wrong about it being a beemer, it was a Jeep.