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Should we digitally name and shame Canberra’s bad drivers?

By Marcus Paul - 4 August 2015 55

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I love social media sites, especially those community notice boards. Occasionally they throw up little gems like these:

“And the employee of the week goes to…. the wing nut from xxx Company driving a white Territory xxx number plate  through Murrumbateman this morning. Your skill in driving that motorcyclist off the road at the end of the overtaking lane before McIntosh was carried out in a true ‘I don’t give a sh*t’ style. You upped the ante by speeding through the road works and then you forced another vehicle on to the shoulder at the end of the Capricorn overtaking merge. Outstanding examples of truly crap driving – you represent your employer well!

And this :

Must be the morning for morons! I reported the toyota with the numberplate “XXX'” to the police this morning as they got cranky that no-one would let them speed through the roadworks and then came from 2 cars behind to run me off the road at the Capricorn over taking lane , I hope mine and yours meet each other one morning in a head on and then that will be 2 less w*nkers to deal with !

Wow.

I’ve deleted out number plate details, and hidden the companies name for this exercise. However the question needs to be asked: Is it ever okay to name and shame on social media? Sure, a good vent with like minded people might make you feel better, and perhaps even solicit responses such as that highlighted above.

However, is it dangerous? After all what happens if someone loses a job over this and then decides to go online and finds the person who posted the evidence? Some people even post dash cam videos or snap pictures on mobile phones and post.

Sure, from time to time I’ve named and shamed car owners who have blatantly illegally parked in disabled spots, but usually only after a bit of thought. I am usually left though with the feeling I have possibly breached someone’s privacy in some way. My one rule here though is if it’s a diplomatic vehicle I’m right onto it. Last year, I named the same US Embassy DC plated car stopping in a disabled spot day after day. Eventually, we received an apology and a promise the law would not be broken again.

There will be some people who might say they deserved it because they’re doing the wrong thing, endangering lives, or making disabled parking difficult. Some might even say it’s none of my business, it’s police who deal with this.

Really, try calling Gungahlin or Tuggeranong police with a complaint that someone nearly ran you off the road and due to lack of evidence or the fact no-one was actually hurt, it ends up it being a low priority if at all.

So, over to you RiotACT folk. Name and shame – or simply let it be?

Should bad drivers be named and shamed?

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Marcus Paul is the host of Canberra Live 3pm weekdays on 2CC.

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55 Responses to
Should we digitally name and shame Canberra’s bad drivers?
cbrmale 4:00 pm 05 Aug 15

Innovation said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Evilomlap said :

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

I agree with this. I said to someone the other day that there should be periodic driving tests in order to retain a licence, and the period between the tests should get smaller once the driver reaches a certain age. The person I was talking to told me I was being ridiculous but I really don’t think my proposal is that controversial.

I agree with regular driving tests. Even online theory tests at license renewal would be better than what we have now. However, testing based on age (or even increased regularity) is discriminatory.

Rather than naming or shaming, the police should have sufficient IT resources to manage and record complaints against license numbers and then investigate after a designated number of random complaints or based on severity of complaints. Irresponsible drivers have a habit of making the same (deliberate) mistakes over and over again.

The police do collect statistics on complaints about drivers but are largely powerless to act because unless there is corroborating evidence such as a film clip, it’s always a case of ”he said” ”she said”. This is where dash cams and helmet cams can be of use, except in my experience the ACT police just don’t have the resources to follow up on filmed examples of extremely dangerous driving.

vintage123 12:49 pm 05 Aug 15

Dash cams are fantastic. And yes we probably should have a federal system whereby the data is collected. I mean, why not. It’s real time surveillance.

For those with a spare minute, check this out, reminds me of driving to and from the coast. This shows how close innocent drivers coming the other way are often defenceless to harm.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-LxrIw14kRQ

Maya123 8:52 am 05 Aug 15

Innovation said :

Alexandra Craig said :

Evilomlap said :

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

I agree with this. I said to someone the other day that there should be periodic driving tests in order to retain a licence, and the period between the tests should get smaller once the driver reaches a certain age. The person I was talking to told me I was being ridiculous but I really don’t think my proposal is that controversial.

I agree with regular driving tests. Even online theory tests at license renewal would be better than what we have now. However, testing based on age (or even increased regularity) is discriminatory.

Rather than naming or shaming, the police should have sufficient IT resources to manage and record complaints against license numbers and then investigate after a designated number of random complaints or based on severity of complaints. Irresponsible drivers have a habit of making the same (deliberate) mistakes over and over again.

I agree with that. However, we don’t even have to (discouraged to) report accidents these days, unless someone is injured. I once had someone run into the back of me with her new Mercedes (she had had it three days), who from comments did this regularly, which made me wonder if she should be driving. “Please don’t report me to the police. I don’t want another report. Take your car to these crash repairers. I’ll pay. they know me. I sent the last person there.” The crash repairers did know her, and told me to bring the car in, as no worries, she’ll pay. True story. In that case, I did report her.

Innovation 10:56 pm 04 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Evilomlap said :

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

I agree with this. I said to someone the other day that there should be periodic driving tests in order to retain a licence, and the period between the tests should get smaller once the driver reaches a certain age. The person I was talking to told me I was being ridiculous but I really don’t think my proposal is that controversial.

I agree with regular driving tests. Even online theory tests at license renewal would be better than what we have now. However, testing based on age (or even increased regularity) is discriminatory.

Rather than naming or shaming, the police should have sufficient IT resources to manage and record complaints against license numbers and then investigate after a designated number of random complaints or based on severity of complaints. Irresponsible drivers have a habit of making the same (deliberate) mistakes over and over again.

pink little birdie 8:39 pm 04 Aug 15

It always amazes me the number people who will speed, cut people off and park illegally when they have a business name on the car or their sports club or community group splashed across the back windscreen.

cranky 7:46 pm 04 Aug 15

I have had a dashcam for a couple of years now.
Had a total idiot carve me up on Mugga Lane, who had to come back to the same speed as the rest of the traffic immediately. He knew he had buggered up, and I tapped the camera as he looked in his rear vision mirror.

What a transformation.

Strictly to the speed limit. Perfectly in his lane. I was chuffed by the result.

Maya123 7:46 pm 04 Aug 15

gazket said :

Lefty social media types whip up a bee hives and name and shame all the time. There main aim is for targets too loose their job. They will even take casualties to prove their point .

nothing new here

What you have written here gives the impression that you don’t want anyone removed from a job involving driving, even if their driving is so bad they are a danger on the road. I don’t think it is okay to scare and endanger other drivers by dangerous driving. If someone doesn’t want to lose their job, don’t drive badly.

gazket 6:32 pm 04 Aug 15

Lefty social media types whip up a bee hives and name and shame all the time. There main aim is for targets too loose their job. They will even take casualties to prove their point .

nothing new here

Maya123 6:19 pm 04 Aug 15

Alexandra Craig said :

Evilomlap said :

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

I agree with this. I said to someone the other day that there should be periodic driving tests in order to retain a licence, and the period between the tests should get smaller once the driver reaches a certain age. The person I was talking to told me I was being ridiculous but I really don’t think my proposal is that controversial.

I think that if any tests are given, the number of tests should reflect statistics for who has the accidents, not presumptions.

cbrmale 5:16 pm 04 Aug 15

I have posted film clips of bad Canberra driving online, as do others. Some of my film clips were so shocking that I was contacted by a national television network and was interviewed, and high definition versions of my clips will be shown nation-wide in due course. That’s naming and shaming.

In reality when selfish and aggressive drivers realise that every other car on the road could be filming them and there can be consequences in that, then that may make our roads safer. That’s why I agreed to be interviewed and that was one of the points I made.

Alexandra Craig 3:05 pm 04 Aug 15

Evilomlap said :

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

I agree with this. I said to someone the other day that there should be periodic driving tests in order to retain a licence, and the period between the tests should get smaller once the driver reaches a certain age. The person I was talking to told me I was being ridiculous but I really don’t think my proposal is that controversial.

rosscoact 2:36 pm 04 Aug 15

Solidarity said :

A big, huge resounding no from me.

Social media is nothing more that a wagon full of morons, and when that bandwagon gets going, nothing will stop it, even 20 ton truth bombs.

Too hard to separate truth from sensationalism, and there is always two sides to a story.

Yet here you are on social media.

Solidarity 12:01 pm 04 Aug 15

A big, huge resounding no from me.

Social media is nothing more that a wagon full of morons, and when that bandwagon gets going, nothing will stop it, even 20 ton truth bombs.

Too hard to separate truth from sensationalism, and there is always two sides to a story.

Evilomlap 11:50 am 04 Aug 15

The question is so late it’s irrelevant. In this age of dash cams and YouTube people are being publically shamed anyway. There are sites springing up every week to post dash cam vids and ‘name and shame’ people. I haven’t seen many, but I dare say not many are bothering to shade out people’s number plates or faces.

Maybe let’s spend less time berating other road users and focus on ourselves. I read a study a few years back where people who had their licences for more than ten years sat a written driving test. Something like 9 out of 10 people failed. Simple stuff like who has right of way if the traffic lights are out, merging, how to use indicators etc.

Pilots have to sit tests periodically to prove they are still competent. The number of people killed on the roads far exceeds the number killed in plane crashes. Drivers should have to do that same thing. I find the concept of sitting one test when you’re 17 and then never being tested again a bit ridiculous. I reckon the cost to benefit ratio of this would even out, given that it would probably prevent heaps of minor accidents that are caused by simple ignorance of road rules or people making innocent mistakes.

fernandof 9:56 am 04 Aug 15

I voted for Yes, but it’s a bit more complex than that.

The guideline for me here is to analyse risk vs. benefit and decide from that, i.e., what are the risks we would create in having the community policing ourselves, versus what are the benefits. In this case, especially because police, at least in my own experience, have zero interest in following up on actual incidents even those accompanied with hard evidence (e.g., dash cams / cyclists helmet cams), using the collective power of the community would be an overall improvement.

Yes, we do run the risk of mob justice with all the unjustifiable allegations it brings with it, and that would still be better than today’s situation in which we share our roads with some serious dangerous individuals who should not be allowed to drive (not because they lack driving skills, rather because they lack any concern for other road users).

Ultimately, the police should take over by creating a channel with the community allowing us to hand over evidence for them to follow up. When that happens, I’d vote No for this suggestion; until then, it’s a Yes for me.

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