Speeders caught in in a radar trap in Oshawa, Ontario this week were offered a choice of punishment. They could opt for a traditional ticket and fine, or they could listen to a lecture about the dangers of their misdeeds -- not from John Law, mind you, but from local teens participating in a program that's basically about using public shaming as a way to combat speeding.
Drivers who opted for the lecture over the fine (and seriously, who wouldn't) would then be read a one-page essay by a local teenage boy or girl. These essays feature accident stats, reminders of the potential consequences of speeding, and in some cases, anecdotes about how speeders had negatively impacted the students' lives. According to the Toronto Star, the assembled teens "jeered" speeders as they were pulled over -- as if getting pulled over isn't annoying enough to begin with.

Local police reps quoted in the article seem to love the program, claiming it's a better deterrent because people given regular tickets just pay their fines and move on. Conversely, they say that the experience of being dressed-down by an 11th-grader is something that sticks with the offender long after he or she drives away. Hey, if it works, great. After all, drivers avoid a fine but still have to deal with the inconvenience of a traffic stop, compounded by the indignity of a lecture from some kid. Somehow, we're not surprised to learn that the use of this particular program is the exception rather than the norm. The Star reports that other police officers prefer the traditional speeding ticket's more "tangible results." Or is that "result$"?

[Source: Toronto Star via FARK]

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