Editorial – Idiot proof

Humiliation might prove successful in deterring criminals.

“Humiliation is the beginning of sanctification.”

–John Donne

Sure it’s humiliating, but it just might work.

According to court records a woman caught on camera driving onto a sidewalk to avoid a Cleveland school bus unloading children has been ordered to stand at an intersection wearing a sign.

On it?

“Only an idiot drives on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”

The judge further ordered the woman to wear the sign from 7:45 a.m. until 8:45 a.m. for two days next week.

The woman’s license was also suspended for 30 days and she was slapped with  $250 in court costs.

But it’s the sign, the message and the humiliation of the punishment that might just shame this woman into using common sense the next time she gets behind the wheel.

This approach could be used for a variety of infractions.

Take drinking and driving. Can you imagine standing at Carson and Reid with a bright neon sign strapped to your chest? It might read “Only an idiot drinks and drives.”

I think the thought of your community driving by and judging your stupid ass (and rightly so) would be deterrent enough for most.

The same can be applied to our fine drug trafficking citizens. Aside from jail time and court fees they are also ordered to stand at Spirit Square with a brightly coloured sign held above their heads: “Only an idiot sells drugs.”

Simple, effective, entertaining and cheap.

When behaviour is a problem and the threat of jail time, suspensions and monetary repercussions aren’t enough, shame should work.

And these people should be embarrassed. Their behaviour is not acceptable, whether it’s out of sheer stupidity or for selfish reasons.

Perhaps the threat of public humiliation would help keep our streets and children a little safer.

 

–Autumn MacDonald, Observer