Posts Tagged ‘bad driver’
There are speeding tickets and penalties for driving drunk. But if an obscure provision in Gov. Martin O’Malley’s budget proposal becomes law, motorists in Maryland will have another sanction to worry about: a fine for bad driving.
Get caught going 85 on the highway twice in two years? On top of the $1,080 in traffic fines you’ve earned, you’d owe the state $1,500. There would be a new fee for drunken driving too: A conviction would cost an additional $500 every year for three years.
A driver who didn’t pay the surcharge could see his or her license suspended.
(Now this is really odd. Vallario, also a Democrat, was vehemently opposed to drunk driving penalties that involved installing breathalyzers in repeat offender’s cars. His pal O’Malley would like to tax them. and hard. I suppose he sees a revenue stream. Statistically the gov-man knows drunks will drink and drive again and then owe more taxes. He also already knows that drivers in our state have developed bad habits that could – help with revenue! O’Malley and his pals would seem like heroes zapping the bad guys. the think so because they believe the right thinks so.
Well, if you have not yet guessed it, I DID NOT vote for Mr. O’Malley and his henchmen. He’s a progressive. The means justifies the end and if he can “justify the means” he believes he will achieve his end.
Yes drunks and bad drivers deserve what they get, but I believe that that the MUD license tag is a better idea. Hitting the bad driver in the pocket book is just the cost of driving and will not in any way effect behavior.
Behavior is changed by people who want to change their behavior. At STOP the MUD we insist that people will and can change their behavior when enough good examples surround them.
What is O’Malley going to do about the state government employees that drive recklessly? How about the police? The off duty police and their families with FP and FOP plates? The firefighters? I’m guessing the good old boys will protect themselves unless HONEST police and fire managers step in to change things.
At STOP the MUD we believe that MAN CAN GOVERN HIMSELF without the help of people like O’Malley. It is high time Marylanders decided to drive safely for safety and to protect themselves from Annapolis.)
When you notice good or bad behavior on the road you have a few on-line options. Please don’t hesitate to report a bad-driver-in-progress to your local law enforcement or Maryland State Police but if that doesn’t seem appropriate there are websites you can take advantage of.
The site we highlight is Zap-a-Tag. Use of the site is free whatever the function. Readers can see a historical list of reported license tags, use a cellular phone or a computer to submit an entry, and even subscribe to your state of interest with a reader like Google Reader. You can also add friends or group persons in your state together so you can see report activity of interest to you. There are several persons in Maryland regularly using the site. That is encouraging. The site also offers a Google map showing the latest reports in your state. That is a neat feature.
This site offers a unique service for a fee. We have not tried the service so we cannot say one way or the other whether or not others have been successful using the site. It looked to me like the site was showing the same last-five-reported license plates in Maryland for a number of weeks. This might mean that interest is low from our state or that not enough folks know about the service.
This site will send a letter (for a fee/donation) to your local law enforcement agency regarding law breakers in your area. The site also says that insurance companies receive regular reports to check against their records.
You can elect, for a fee/donation to be notified if your family’s license plates show up in their system. Businesses and families might like that option. You can also search their system for a specific plate but you cannot see all of the plates reported over time.
Our concept of using sites like this has a number of elements.
1. Reporting public safety license tags for personal and government owned vehicles.
2. Reporting commercial license tags.
3. Reporting organizational license tags and handicapped tags.
4. Reporting regular license tags.
5. Preferably the report types should be that an EXAMPLE SETTER was found and you are praising the behavior.
6. A poor EXAMPLE SETTER is seen making an egregious violation that contributes to the dangerous situation on our roads.
Using the sites is a way to channel the anger so many of us feel when we see unsafe driving behavior. Reporting great drivers that set an example makes it a positive experience. Reporting example setters may perhaps be far more important in the long run. You decide.
Please let us know what services you are using and what your successes have been.
For the past two years StopBigBrotherMD.org has been documenting the expansion of speed cameras in Maryland. Last year a bill sponsored championed by Governor O’Malley authorized the use of speed cameras in school zones and freeway work zones anywhere in the state. We argued that this new power would be abused, that it would diminish the legal rights of drivers, subject drivers to mass surveillance, and that it would be viewed as a cash cow by local governments and a way of taxing out of town drivers.
Read the ENTIRE article at StopBigBrotherMD.org:
(StoptheMUD.org (no affiliation) has mixed feelings. On the one hand, unsafe driving in Maryland is pandemic. Aggressive behavior is common. Few people stop at red lights and stop signs especially for right turns. Traffic deaths remain in the 500-600 range every year. Then on the other you have politicians that look more to traffic cams as revenue generators after having skipped education and traffic enforcement. Red light cams make enforcement less personal and that’s good for the politician because then the politician does not have to support the police and really tick off constituents.
There are way too many bad drivers but StoptheMUD believes the problem is best fixed by our citizens deciding to obey the law. There would be NO REASON for traffic cams if most of us drove safely and not the other way round. Our energy should be directed at changing behaviors that are killing people. )
The road bicyclists use the death of one of their own this week to lobby the state for a mandatory three-foot buffer from cars. These road bicyclists choose some of the worst roads to ride on, rural route roads like Falls Road and the side roads of Upperco in Baltimore County, where if the state of Maryland wanted to do anything rational, it would ban the use of bicycles on all rural route roads without shoulders because it isn’t safe to operate bicycles on them.
Read the ENTIRE opinion at the Baltimore Sun:
(What needs to happen? Maryland drivers must decide to share the road in a safe manner with everyone else. I have years of experience bicycling on California’s back roads from the San Francisco Bay Area to Lake Tahoe to Mendocino County. There are far more bicyclists per mile there than in Maryland and I felt reasonably safe. One major reason for the difference is not the roads but the drivers who use Maryland’s back roads. The driving culture in Maryland blames everyone and everything but the proximate cause – the aggressive reckless driver.
Slowing and passing a bicyclist is a safe, easy, and polite maneuver. You look for on-coming traffic in the opposing lane, judge the traffic behind you, slow down and wait for a safe opportunity to pass with adequate clearance. Total precious driver time wasted insignificant to the number of lives saved.
The law requires an adequate clearance. I agree, that in a perfect world, such a law would not be required because everyone would have a modicum of common sense. That is unfortunately lacking in Maryland today. Most of our roads in Southern Maryland are of the two-lane country variety. Where are bicyclists supposed to enjoy their hobby if not our quiet6 bay-view country roads?
Until you have been on a bicycle and encountered a rude, reckless, thoughtless driver you do not have an adequate appreciation of the problem. The editorial staff of the Sun needs to get a group together and go bicycling.
I’d guess that one reason we have so many school buses in the country is because drivers have made use of our roads impossible for children. At first it befuddled me why Maryland kids didn’t get themselves to school and then I drove here. It is not safe on the road in front of my own home in a neighborhood with one road in and one road out. The straight away begins at my front door and the race out of the area begins. Drivers are OBLIVIOUS. Our culture of reckless abandon guarantees unsafe roads.
This is a problem solved at the grass roots level. Citizens of Maryland must DECIDE to drive safely. There are too many bad drivers to ticket. This does not however limit the need for enforcement and awareness building that expensive citations provide.
The answer is that all of the Maryland road killers need to slow down and enjoy the ride. Be safe, be happy, arrive alive.)
(STOP the MUD comment reproduced in full at baltimorespokes.org)
Let’s think a moment about sites like Zapatag. Yes, it is a good thing to avoid road rage and if you have to you can publicly reprimand the bad driver, but what about the good drivers you see?
Good drivers are few and not often observed. The problem with our reckless culture and the current bad driving pandemic is that there are more bad drivers than good drivers. It is much too easy to report bad behavior than it is the good.
An alternative to reporting bad behavior is to use sites like Zapatag to report the example setters. This occurred to me when I saw the Maryland State Highway Administration dump truck traveling up Highway 4 near Sunderland yesterday. The driver was going fifty-five miles an hour and driving with caution because of his size and weight. The driver cared about the truck, the taxpayer, other drivers, and the crew with him. Why shouldn’t we tell the world what a great example the driver was?
Maryland needs example setters on the roads and highways. Let’s tell the world who they are.
There’s a new website of the report-a-bad-driver genre, ZapaTag.com. According to the ZapaTag Blog you can even use Twitter to report a bad driver. Just one caveat folks. We don’t want to read about you on ZapaTag as using your cellular telephone while driving!
It could be an eye opener to some folks who find their license plate in a site like ZapaTag. It might have a positive effect by slowing someone down or stimulate a long-needed family discussion.
ZapaTag is a new site according to their information. The site may be down on occasion or periodically have a glitch or two. That’s OK because the alternative site, PlateWire.com appears to be down and has been for some time without explanation.
When you use these types of sites please stick to business. You don’t do yourself or anyone a favor by using profanity or aggressive language in your posts. Pointing out the obvious is all you have to do make a valid protest. People who drive on a public highway, road, or parking lot are there for everyone to see and to comment on – politely.
Perhaps we will read your posts on ZapaTag?