CLEVELAND – A woman caught on camera driving on a sidewalk to avoid a Cleveland school bus that was unloading children will have to stand at an intersection wearing a sign warning about idiots.
Court records show a Cleveland Municipal Court judge on Monday ordered 32-year-old Shena Hardin to stand at an intersection for two days next week. She will have to wear a sign saying: "Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."
Have you ever had the feeling that you are part of something bigger than yourself? There is a certain air of mystery to it--it is as if something big is happening and, even though you did not originate it, you are called to stand up for a period of time to help this "thing" move forward. You think your part is small and maybe you think your actions are inconsequential to the ultimate success or failure of the "thing" (and maybe they are) but you know you were called to stand up and be counted anyway . . .
That is the feeling I got today as I stood in the State Capitol in New Hampshire and gave a quick, 3 or 4 minute testimony in support of House Bill 1440. I had come prepared to speak for 12-15 minutes but there were so many supporters, the Senate committee chairman asked everyone to keep it brief--reminding us that if we turn in written testimony, the committee will be able to read what we wanted to say. As far as my part? I think my testimony went well enough, but I don't think testimony was the most important thing I could bring. Rather, I think I was able to bring encouragement. Before the hearing, I spoke for just a few minutes to some of the other people who would testify in support of the bill. I know I was encouraged by them, and they were impressed that I would travel from halfway across the country to stand beside them and support them. In turn, they encouraged others and they encouraged me. The committee had over 25 pages listing people who wanted to make their opinions known about the bill (that's about 500 signatures total). Of those, the majority supported the bill and wanted to voice their support.
I don't know how the committee will vote, but I do know that I met amazing people: amazing moms and dads, amazing public servants, and amazing 15 and 16 year olds--teenagers who spoke more eloquently than many of the adults who testified against the bill. If this bill passes, it won't be because I had a wonderful, poignant and pithy testimony (it wasn't that wonderful), it will be due to well over 300 regular citizens who chose to take time out of their busy days and busy lives to stand up for what they feel is important. This was our Democratic Republic at work in the way the founding father's intended. I am humbled and grateful to have been a part of this bill.
If you or your family or friends live in New Hampshire, please direct them to the website below and urge them to call their senators in support of the bill. The committee will vote next week. If you missed the hearing, there's still time to email the Senate Transportation Committee: Chairman Rausch email@example.com David Boutin firstname.lastname@example.org James Forsythe email@example.com Molly Kelly firstname.lastname@example.org Nancy Stiles email@example.com
Driver Ed in this state costs an average of $600-$700! Many New Hampshire teens can’t afford driver education, so they wait until they turn 18 to get their license, bypassing our Graduated Driver Licensing system and driver ed. We can fix this problem by offering teens an affordable driver ed program. The 2012 Driver Ed Bill (HB 1440) would provide an online driver ed option with parent provided behind-the-wheel training. Costing around $70, online driver ed programs would offer a financially feasible, yet high-quality driver ed option for teenagers here in New Hampshire, so that all teenagers would have an equal opportunity to earn their driver’s license.
Google announced the self-driving car project in 2010. It relies upon laser range finders, radar sensors, and video cameras to navigate the road ahead, in order to make driving safer, more enjoyable and more efficient -- and clearly more accessible. The search engine giant was awarded a patent on the system in December.
When Emily Huntington passed away last year in a motor vehicle collision involving texting, her family, friends, and high school decided to honor her life by producing a public service announcement. The producers acknowlege that we all may have tried texting while driving, but the risks are just too high to continue the behavior.
Don't text. Just Drive.
Drivers of all ages and experience levels are prone to lose sight of what is really important when they are being the wheel. The urge to make that latest status update can seem so tempting and so harmless . . . and yet, that is when calamity strikes. As a driver, your attention needs to be focused on the task of driving. You should not even check your texts or e-mails at a red light; whatever just came in will still be on your phone when you reach your destination. Don't text and drive.
I teach people how to drive safely and I value safe driving very highly, but I make mistakes too. In this case, I could have done worse . . .
This morning, I was running late taking my son to school. It was also raining, so, even though we were late, I was driving a little slower than the speed limit. I was on a major roadway having just passed a traffic light when I saw lights flashing in my rearview mirror. I looked up to see a Land Rover tailgaiting me. A petit blond mom was driving with her young blond daughter in the front seat. The girl was probably my son's age--he thinks he recognizes her from math class. Federal guidelines reccomend that children under 12 should ride in the back seat to avoid airbag related injuries . . . but I digress . . .
I looked in my mirror and saw the mom gesturing to me that I should speed up. Traffic was very heavy and I was only a car length or two behind my normal following distance so I gestured to her that she should back off. That did not make her happy. My son asked me what I was doing, so I told him I was communicating with the crazy lady behind me. I even told him to look and see how crazy she was acting. She began gesturing more wildly that I should speed up--traffic was too heavy for her to pass me. That's when I first felt the urge to uncage the bird.
I resisted the urge--considering my son was in the car with me and his schoolmate was able to see me as well. Instead, I pointed at my head and moved my hand in circles to tell her she was crazy. Well, that set of a frenzy of activity--her blond hair whipping right and left as she gesticulated wildly. It was all she could take. She uncaged her own bird for her daughter, my son, and me to see. Now my bird really sqawked at me to let it fly. Instead, I just continued to sign to her that she is crazy.
We turned off the main road and came to a 4 way intersection in the loop that leads to the school. I signaled for a right turn and stopped at the stop sign for one full second -- well, one very full second. She was so angry she sped around me and drove straight through the intersection. I am glad she did not turn right and take the shorter route to the school because I encountered a high school girl walking across the street with no regard to vehicular traffic and I had to stop for her (she never did see me). Angry mom would have fallen out of her vehicle and had a seizure if she were forced to stop for this girl.
When we got to the school, we found a long line of parents waiting to drop their kids off. On rainy days, walkers don't walk, they catch rides from their parents. The school gives a little grace, but the bottome line is that we were late, and angry mom was late too. No amount of speeding or aggressive driving was going to change that.
In this situation, both drivers did some things wrong. Lets think about how the situation should have been handled better.
What I did right:
I drove at a speed just under the limit, being mindful of rainy conditions.
I did not drive so slow as to impede traffic.
I made complete stops.
I was aware of pedestrians in the neighborhood.
What I did wrong:
I reacted to the aggressive driver. I should have ignored her. She would have been frustrated, but her anger would not likely have escalated.
I goaded her. I made gestures and responses that I knew would increase her anger. Angry drivers make bad decisions and I could have been a factor if she had crashed.
What she did right:
Well, she got her daughter to school without killing anybody.
What she did wrong:
She left late.
She tried to make up for being late by speeding and driving aggressively. I have friends who do this, but I won't name names (TK). For all of her frustration, we did not lose our place in traffic.
She allowed her emotions to cloud her judgement. Getting angry and frustrated does not get you to your location any faster. Besides, the school was backed up with extra students anyway. Oh yes, she could have known that because the school entry backs up every time it rains.
She sped through a four way intersection on roads that have a lot of pedestrian traffic.
On a street with traffic lights, speeding rarely, if ever, gets you ahead of the traffic. The amount of time you save by speeding during a typical commute may be a minute at most. That minute of time saved is not worth the lives put at risk by aggressive or reckless driving.
A 500 word essay could win you a $2,000.00 scholarship. The contest is open to students in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, and Utah.
If you are interested in Driver Education, why not check out an at-home option like National Driver Training's program. NDT's course is available in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and many other states.
Last night, we experienced a lot rainfall; so much that a large part of the city was under flash flood warnings in the morning. Flash floods can be deadly. If you drive in an area that can be flooded, you need to take precautions to protect yourself and your passengers. Here is how National Driver Training addresses driving when roads are flooded:
When approaching water, avoid splashing water into the engine compartment by proceeding slowly. Do not proceed if the water level reaches your vehicle or you are unsure how deep the water is. Most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs can be swept away in as little as two feet of water. The best thing to do is to simply not drive through any standing or moving water is to, as the National Weather Service Puts it, "Turn Around Don't Drown."