Having fun with lousy drivers

Editorial from the Parsippany, NJ Daily Record

OK, maybe we sound like killjoys, but we don’t see anything all that amusing about bad drivers. Oddly enough, the AAA New Jersey Automobile Club does.

AAA affiliates across the country are promoting a new reality show called “America’s Worst Driver.” Shown on The Travel Channel, the show will focus on eight cities — including New York City — and attempt to find the “worst drivers” from a field nominated by friends and associates. Those deemed to be the worst drivers in each city will ultimately compete with each other. Winners along the way win vacations and cars. The ultimate loser gets a bicycle.

The driving prowess, or lack thereof, will be determined through a series of tests. Sure, this seems harmless. Then again, what’s funny about being a bad driver?

Bad drivers are those who speed, who tailgate and who recklessly switch lanes, not to mention those who drive drunk. Bad drivers are people who put other motorists at risk.

Reality shows dish up a lot of silly material, so it’s not surprising that someone came up with this idea. What seems puzzling is that AAA, an organization that supports safe driving, is supporting it.

8 replies
  1. Keri
    Keri says:

    Here’s info on AAA’s webiste

    It’s an interesting attempt to get Americans’ attention about irresponsible and cavalier behavior behind the wheel. From the video:

    “Too many people take driving way too casually. Your car probably weighs more than 3000lbs. That’s a lot of responsibility and a lot of potential for damage.”

  2. Kevin Love
    Kevin Love says:

    In my opinion, definitely in poor taste. The behaviours mentioned in the newpaper article are serious crimes of violence. In my opinion, violent and dangerous criminals are not funny.

    What’s next? A show called “America’s worst wife-beater”? Or how about “America’s most thuggish racist”?

  3. Keri
    Keri says:

    Don’t tempt them Kevin! The stupidity on TV cannot shock me anymore. Thus, I don’t own a TV.

    I’m still going to give AAA a little credit for trying something, um, unique, to push a safety message to the mouthbreather demographic (looks like they’re peppering the thing with safety PSAs)… even if it is just another insipid reality TV show.

    BTW, I agree with Tom (on his blog) that giving the loser a bike is a rather annoying smack in the face of transportation cyclists.

    Maybe they should put the bad drivers on bicycles as a part of the TV show and teach them a) how to drive mindfully on bicycles and b) what it’s like to share the road with idiot drivers. There’s some perspective.

  4. Andy B from Jersey
    Andy B from Jersey says:

    Yeah, I though about lambasting this on my blog too but I have mixed feelings about it.

    Maybe the loser will learn a thing or two riding that bike. And if they’re really that bad, I sure don’t want them driving a car!

    Also AAA is fairly sensitive to the needs of bicyclists and pedestrians (there not perfect) and they are at least trying to address the true real threat to bikes and peds … DRIVERS!

  5. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    This is more appropriate to this thread than I thought:


    Apparently an ESPN maroon recommends running over cyclists, or some nonsense in a similar manner. I’ve not listened to the audio, but the comments I’ve read seem to indicate that’s the gist of it.

    Great, the idiot box presenting the material of one idiot to all the other idiots of the country…

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      Bad publicity is better than no publicity… his ratings must be down.

      I watched it yesterday and laughed out loud. On one hand it sounded like the pathetic whining you hear from any “majority” which feels like it is losing dominion. On the other hand, it was like an amateur skit created from the comments section of the newspaper.

      So, Lance goes on his show today. His show wins its time slot. I bet his advertisers are thrilled!

      When ClearChannel shock jocks pulled this crap a few years ago, it resulted in an apology that included bike advocacy PSAs.

  6. fred_dot_u
    fred_dot_u says:

    As before, I’ve not heard today’s Lance interview, but I just finished reading a comment that said Lance was supporting/promoting bike lanes. Oh well…

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