The city of Fredericton has a seen drastic increase in traffic accidents in the last few weeks following the start of a Twitter page designed to photograph and shame people guilty of irresponsible driving. Although the page’s intention was to promote better driving by exposing and embarrassing those seen driving recklessly, the effort people are taking to do so has apparently resulted in the very opposite effect.
“In the last 2 weeks the number of traffic accidents in the city has increased by 800 percent,” said Const. Paul Richard. “What we’ve seen is that motorists who are videoing or photographing other motorists in an effort to catch them in the act of breaking traffic laws are neglecting the road, breaking traffic laws themselves and causing a significant amount of unnecessary accidents.”
Recently one frequent poster to the page photographed a driver in front of him who was texting while driving. The man uploaded the image along with a disparaging remark to Twitter; however, the man was doing so while driving himself, and seconds later wound up rear-ending the very driver in front of him.
Const. Richard said in one day alone officers responded to more than 200 traffic-related accidents and that the majority of these involved well-meaning motorists videoing or taking pictures of other motorists they felt were driving poorly. In one case a driver who was videoing another driver for crossing lanes without a signal light was also being videoed by another driver for videoing the driver while driving. What resulted was a three-way collision. “The complete and utter lack of self-awareness in this case is quite frankly baffling,” said Const. Richard.