As I walked to work earlier this week, I spotted some extremely piss-poor driving (PPD). This happens several times a week. Since I walk mainly the same 1.5 mile route (ie the quickest one) and usually leave at about the same time, give or take five minutes, en route I tend to meet the same people and to see the same drivers.
By piss-poor driving I mean things that drivers shouldn’t be doing but that are not bad enough to make me take the time to call the police. If a motorist ran someone over, then I’d call 999. But if they are doing their make-up as they drive to work I wouldn’t call – but I do get really annoyed by it.
Sometimes its a one-off, of course, but on my routine daily walk I see the same offenders doing the same things with regularity – using mobiles, nipping through red lights, not stopping at zebra crossings, not wearing seatbelts, doing their make-up, texting etc
And if I see those behaviours, then probably others see the same. So, if I am late maybe others see the same drivers when I don’t. Wouldn’t it be good if we could all do something about it.
So that got me thinking. How could we use the power of the crowd to do just that?
Last year Ben Marsh put together UKSnowMap. It allowed Twitter users to post tweets using the #UKSnowMap hash tag, their postcode and an indication of the severity of local snow. It was widely used, and praised, and the Guardian ran an online gallery of photographs based on submissions to UKSnowMap.
It wouldn’t be difficult to put together a PPD map.
All that would be needed would be a hashtag (maybe not #ppd as it is used for post-partum depression, it seems), the car’s registration, and the date / time / location – using your mobile’s ability to geo-tagging your tweet. If the tweets were mapped, and preserved over time, it would build up a picture of the driving habits of the offenders.
I’m not suggesting anything that would lead to prosecutions here. But if the police saw repeated offfenders then they could choose to have a quiet word, and point out that if drivers didn’t want to be featured on the PPD map then they could always drive with more care and attention.
The local papers I’m sure would love it. It would save them sticking a reporter outside schools to see who was parking on the yellow zig-zags. Councils could see hot-spots in their area. Possibly there are more benefits I’ve not spotted.
What do you think? Is it worth trying? Any volunteers to get involved?