Stupid in a No Stupid Zone

Question MarkNow and again you hear about something so stupid that you shake your head and wonder what the heck was that driver thinking? Yesterday's case in point was an older female who stopped in the fast lane on the opposite side of a divided highway to take a picture of a fatal collision. All the traffic behind had to screech to a halt to avoid colliding with her.

I'm sorry, but this is really a selfish, totally thoughtless act committed by someone who is old enough to know better. It is not an inadvertant mistake that any one of us might make. This is the type of driver who comes to mind when I hear arguments for raising speed limits, backing off on the Immediate Roadside Prohibition and the impoundment of vehicles for driving at exessive speeds.

They deserve to get "spanked" and in some cases spanked hard. They are thinking only of themselves, or not thinking at all. There is no concern shown for anyone else on the highway and you and I are paying for it with our taxes and insurance premiums. We also pay for it with injury and death.

What to do? Ticket them, prohibit them, require taking driver training or re-examine them before they are able to renew their driver's licence? Instances of thoughtless behaviour are becoming far too commonplace on our highways and we need to foster an attitude of co-operation and respect. Those that don't or won't should be invited to become a passenger instead of a driver.


Well how do you legislate against stupidity?

Section 189 of the BC MVA is relatively silent about stopping unnecessarily in a travelled traffic lane let alone the left lanes of a divided highway. Section 144 is a possible here but even it is not adequate. But do we really need yet another "nanny law" for the obvious? This idiot driver was evidently too ignorant to recognise potential dangers and was probably in violation of the "Keep Right ...." rule too.

But let's not forget about those who, in the middle of traffic, jam the brakes on to avoid a dog or other small animal?  A child ... yes, do everything possible to avoid a collision. Into the median or a ditch if you have to. But for a duck?

Sorry but I'm not sure that any amount of driver re-training would overcome basic, abject stupidity. Didn't Charles Darwin write some laws about this?

But then, because there was no collision, injuries or deaths, this driver's license won't be suspended.

So, back to how do you legislate against stupidity?

I'm at a loss as to how to deal with this type of stupidity as well. Maybe some new traffic law based on "intentionally disrupting traffic flow" with severe penalties would be appropriate.