Friday, May 16, 2008

No spanking allowed

I know, I know.

I’m a curmudgeon and not at all forward-thinking.

But when I ran across this story in this morning’s paper detailing a new strategy to punish speeders I was cringing for hours.

It’s about a program that allows speeding drivers to avoid fines and tickets by instead subjecting themselves to jeers and lectures from local teenagers studying law at the high school down the street.

There’s even a photo of a woman – probably a mom caught rushing around doing a million and one things on her family’s behalf – surrounded by several self-righteous teens mid-lecture.

Oh yeah, I’d say she looks sufficiently humiliated – much like the one in the story who was reduced to tears after being caught doing 63 kilometers (40 miles) per hour in a 50 km (31 mile) zone.

Only one driver opted for a ticket, but was apparently jeered anyway as the teens were given free rein to do so to all the offending drivers the police pulled over.

You might castigate me for saying this (and have at me, I welcome dissent) but here’s my take: I’ve seen a lot in my 38 years. I work hard. I struggle every day to keep up with a myriad of responsibilities in this fast-paced world. I’m a good person. I’m generally law-abiding. Sometimes I speed.

And if I’m caught speeding I’ll take responsibility for it.

But do not humiliate me. And spare me any sermons from 16-year-olds who have earned neither a driver’s license nor the right to lecture me about anything.

Bottom line: I’ll take a hefty fine over a hectoring teen any day.

How about you?

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60 comments:

Karen said...

No, I'd take the hectoring. First of all I'm too cheap to pay the ticket and if I can save a buck I will. Second, I know in my heart that 99% of those jeerers will be getting jeered at within days of getting licensed. That would be worth it all.

Amy said...

"Officer, I'll kindly take the damn ticket."

Girl said...

Ohhhh yes, we need to give teenagers more authority. Right.... tough call. I'm broke but I am not sure I am that broke.

jakelliesmom said...

You know, my neighborhood is rife with teens, and based on my casual interactions with them, I'd opt for a double fine if it was offered.

Magpie said...

You know, that is simply bizarre.

painted maypole said...

encouraging people to make fun of and demean someone should never be acceptable

Karen MEG said...

I sort of get what they're trying to do, but the jeering etc, I don't think that's really the best type of behaviour to be encouraging either. Very strange indeed.

Heather said...

Wow, who is the genius that thought of that? As though teens need something else to make them feel superior to all.

Holly said...

That concept is BEYOND strange and bizarre. It doesn't work at helping the lack of respect so many people seem to have today.

Laski said...

I'm with you. After several years in the classroom with teens, I'd pay the money before I'd be subject to any sort of lecture or ridicule from one of them.

Than again . . .

My first year of teaching was torturous. They smelled my fear and pounced.

MommyK said...

Oh yes, because it's SUCH a great idea to teach kids to humiliate people instead of treating them with compassion and kindness. And giving them the benefit of the doubt.

What idiot thought that up?

Just Janice said...

I'll pay the fine thank you - the money goes to support the police fight moreviolentcrimes, right?

Joanna said...

Is there a fine for slapping the snot of out them? Just saying...

Awesome Mom said...

I would pay the ticket. There have been a lot more times that I got away with speeding than I did not.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

EVERYONE speeds. Anyone who says they don't is lying.

wheelsonthebus said...

That's nice. That's just really nice Just how we want to teach kids to treat their elders.

Melisa said...

I am a pretty frugal person, but I am also the mom of two teenaged boys.

I'll pay the ticket.

tommie said...

sucking up to it and paying the freaking ticket..

as a former junior high teacher, there is no way I could sit through that.

April said...

In the moment? Without knowing what was to come, I'd take the lecture as well. But after being given the opportunity to think about it, I'd take the ticket.

Trudie said...

We (parents, teachers, coaches, ministers) spend untold hours on teaching children and teenagers to treat everyone with respect - WHY in H*lls B*lls would we turn around and allow teenagers to let loose on us for speeding?
Who is the crackpot that thought this up and where are his children at the moment?

Are You Serious! said...

♡ Ticket please! I don't need kids thinking that they can demean adults! Personally I think it's inappropriate! (?spelling?)

Yvette said...

I have to agree with you on this one....I think they are sending the wrong message to the teens.

We are supposed to respect our elders not tease and make fun of them when they know nothing of the circumstances.

Backpacking Dad said...

If they really want to eliminate speeding then they ought to get rid of the fine option altogether.

Because from what you've said it seems like the "don't speed" lesson would be cemented if you had to endure the heckling.

I think that it's teens doing the heckling is precisely the point: no one wants to be in a position of enduring the opinions of teenagers for any length of time.

I'd rather pay a fine. But then, I'd also rather eat a pie. I think getting what I'd rather have is playing the wrong game.

flutter said...

yep, give me the ticket

Mental P Mama said...

Amen. I already have the teens at home to tell me all I'm doing wrong...or roll their eyes. Which can actually be worse.

Dawn said...

What are they thinking?!! Teens really don't need any encouragement in being self righteous- actually nobody does!

Angella said...

I think that is the dumbest idea! Seriously.

I'd take the ticket fo sho.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

With my luck it would be my son and his friends doing the lecturing--in that case I would certainly prefer the fine.

Don't they have an option where teen drivers get lectured by middle-aged women? Oh that's right, it's called going home!

Susiewearsthepants said...

First of all, I personally care nothing for being humiliated by kids who are barely old enough to wipe their own butts. Secondly, what is this teaching these teenagers? How to make fun of people when they make mistakes? I agree with you.

themommykelly said...

I'd take the fine... I might be too tempted to slap the shit out of some smart-ass teen.

womaninawindow said...

Bizzare, to say the least. Definitely the ticket...there's always a context, really...

Damselfly said...

That is just the wackiest form of crackdown I have ever heard! That won't teach people not to speed -- and just imagine what it's teaching those kids.

Lisa said...

That just seems stupid. Really, really stupid. I mean, who comes up with dumb ideas like that?

I would love on a ticket too!

C said...

Oh, I agree with you wholeheartedly. I was really shocked to hear of that new strategy for dealing with speeders. I hardly think that would deter anyone. Sure, it sucks being jeered at (and it annoys me that a bunch of teenagers were given the 'right' to jeer at the offenders), but I think that people will likely continue to speed if they were offered that over a ticket. The reason I say this is that more often than not, people would rather not have to part with their hard earned money. Paying a fine would hopefully make one think twice before speeding or at least remind them to be more cautious.

P.S. I am guilty of speeding on the odd occasion. I'd take the ticket over being jeered at though.

Jen said...

Wow.

This seems to defeat the purpose of what they are trying to accomplish in schools--if its appropriate and authority sanctioned to belittle and humiliate adults, but there is a huge anti-bullying push toward their own peer group?

I couldn't care less what a group of teenagers thinks about me, but I've never been stopped for speeding either so I don't know what I would choose.

HRH said...

I agree with you.

In 20 years they are going to find out that psychologically those teens didn't need to think they were the center of the universe and should be heckling people they should respect but made a small mistake. What a weird world.

KathyLikesPink said...

Who in the world comes UP with this stuff?

Like teenagers need an excuse to be smart asses.

(can you tell Darling Daughter is 13???)

dkuroiwa said...

obviously someone has got waaaaay too much time on their hands to come up with stupid crap like that!
Wouldn't showing people taking responsiblitly for their actions (by paying the fines) be a better thing to do to teach the younger, un-licensed drivers a lesson?
Humiliation is usually NOT a good idea...in any situation.
Yeah...I'll pay the fine...I won't like it and I'll bitch about it...but I'll pay.

Jenifer said...

That would be the ticket.

Tootsie Farklepants said...

Are you allowed to sass back at them? Because I might enjoy that.

Miss said...

This is a strange situation. I dont agree with the jeering. I can understand the kids writing essays about speeding and how it kills but to jeer at the people being pulled over? That's wrong. I would hope that instead of giving these kids a big head, as some of your readers suggested, that this might teach them, BEFORE they have their licences, that speeding is wrong and that it kills. I don't really know who this would help either way.

a kelly said...

I do the 10 over routine...you know figuring I won't get pulled over but I get there a little quicker.
But last time I was in T.O. I got caught on the Bloor viaduct where it goes into Danforth and got totally caught in a trap that all the locals know about. Felt like I was pulled over by kindergarten cops who lectured my about speeding. Haven't gotten a ticket in decades, and was mortified. The weird part is I didn't even know why I was being pulled over...having just come off the highway, I didn't even know I was going 20 over AND the speed is not marked on the bridge, the road widens...that's why it is a trap. If they want people to stop speeding there PUT UP A SIGN.
Thanks for letting me rant.
And if they want tourists we should be treated better.

slouching mom said...

good god.

ticket for me, please.

David said...

It matters not how "law abiding" you are or say you are, or how "good a person" you say you are. Speeding is speeding. If you know the speeder was "probably a mom caught rushing around doing a million and one things on her family's behalf" then by all means lets let the poor women go! If she hits a poor child in a school zone because she didn't leave enough time to react doing over the speed limit, it matters not. She is just a poor mom doing a million things on her family's behalf.
If she hit my son or God forbid your son because she was doing a million things on her family's behalf and she needed to speed to accomplish these things, I guess we should just forgive her then?
As a journalist you should see the huge holes with your argument.
I struggle to have a paradigm shift if I heard this from a someone who hit a dog or a child in the 40 school zone: "But officer I was running to A & P to feed my family. Do we let them go?
I agree with the first premise of your argument that suggests sermons form 16 year olds are just silly. I am not an expert on punishment for traffic violations. , but I have seen too many kids hit in school zones in my 36 years of driving and 50 years on this planet. Far too many people have too much on their minds but that is not an excuse to speed. yes we all speed.
Yes we all need not to speed.
If my son was the one that got hit in a school zone last week in Durham region, crossing the street I would be even more angrier at posts in blogs that seem to defend speeders because they are "probably a mom caught rushing around doing a million and one things on her family's behalf".

Kathy said...

Oh bring on the teens, they don't scare me.

Interestingly enough aren't teens involved in more accidents than any other age bracket?? I thought I remember reading that somewhere.

Mandy said...

Ummm... WTF?

We Canadians are weird sometimes.

kittenpie said...

Oh, yeah, I'm with you. No need to encourage teenage disrespect of grownups and give them actual license and a forum! They already think they know everything without errant grownups waved before them. Gah!

Sue said...

Give me the ticket, I don't have time for a lecture.

Indy said...

No way would I sit through that. I would pay the ticket for sure. That would be torture! I am with you.

Tracey said...

Brilliant idea. Let's teach teenagers that making fun of people, no matter what their mistake is, is the right choice... Lovely!

Kami said...

Yeah, I'm with you. That is just the most ludicious thing I have ever heard of.

Seriously.

:-)

Aunt Becky said...

I'd take that ticket and pay it happily. If I deserve it, I deserve it.

common mom said...

Gimme the ticket, ba-by!!! I'm sorry, but not teenager has the right to heckle or ridicule ANY mother out there for ANYTHING ... yes, speeding is "wrong" and unsafe at times (no, not all the time) - but ya know what, sometimes you do what you can with what you got. And when I've got 20 minutes to do 40 minutes worth of "things" - I might just speed. And if I get a ticket, I'll pay for it. I deserved it. I do not deserve EVER to be ridiculed by some teenager who has no clue what life is really all about.

E said...

Maybe the intent in letting the teens talk...(not demean or jeer), to the speeders will slow them down and not the speeder.
I'd take the ticket. I'd probably fight it, but I'd take it....

Gena said...

I believe I am with most of the commenters. Forget the heckling - I have raised teenagers and taught them to drive. I also raised them to respect others. This "law" or option, is absolutely ridiculous. Give me the ticket any day.

Gena said...

P.S. I just read your tabloid post. I, too, am a closet tabloid-a-holic. I always got my fix when I visited my mother-in-law. She had many subscriptions and left all of them on my nightstand when I would come to visit. I loved reading them before bed. I never have bought one, but boy, did I look forward to hers!

SciFi Dad said...

I disagree with you on this one.

(As an aside, when I read the piece, I did not get the heckling impression, so much as the driver had to listen to an essay, but I may be mistaken.)

If fines were a deterrent, then speeding would not be an increasingly prevalent problem. Instead, more and more people are being caught speeding every day. Most drivers just figure they'll pay the ticket, take the points, and move along.

This program, while admittedly giving the teens a great opportunity for self-righteousness (which is something not lacking in today's population, let alone teens), is at least an attempt to change perspectives. Sure, the mother may have been busy, run ragged, overworked, or whatever. But being those things is not an exemption from the law, and certainly not from the consequences.

The message wasn't that the teens were perfect; it was the potential risk we take as drivers when we speed near schools. Schools mean a higher concentration of kids, which means a higher chance of striking one when they (or we) are not paying attention.

Victoria said...

I'd take the heckling, but only because if I get another ticket my husband might leave me.

Signed,

Lead Foot

Erin said...

That is awful! It would be like growing up all over again! No way! I will pay a fine and higher insurance but leave out the humiliation!

Jaina said...

What, is this some twisted version of Scared Straight? I mean really, come on.