CNN Technology

roadsign roadsign

Web page 'shames'
bad drivers


December 20, 1995
Web posted at: 7:25 a.m EST

From San Francisco Bureau Chief Greg Lefevre

SAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) -- Most drivers think the only thing they have to worry about on the road is getting stopped by police. Now, thanks to a new home page on the World Wide Web, driver foul-ups on California's Highway 17 will be available for the world to see.

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Curt Feigel and his friend Emil Gallant travel the road looking for bad drivers. The pair commute together through the twisty roads of the Santa Cruz Mountains on their way to work in Silicon Valley.

When they spot an offender, Feigel whips out his digital camera, takes a picture of the car and posts it along with some choice comments about the bone-head move on the Highway 17 Web Page of Shame, which Gallant designed and maintains.

Tuesday's pick, or "Jerque du Jour" as he calls them, was a Mitsubishi that was a bit too pushy. 538K QuickTime movie

"This is a common bone-head move that we see almost every morning. You have a big rig lumbering up the right hand lane, cars move into the left lane and wait patiently to pass.

"Someone a few cars back decides that this is the perfect opportunity to pass a few of the sheep. He comes roaring up the right lane and either gets stuck going 20 mph behind the truck or he does what this snapper-head did, just forcefully merge into the 'fast' lane and hope the people you cut off will give a little. Do I need to even mention that this is all done without blinkers?" Gallant writes.

The Web page gives the pair a chance to vent their frustrations and arrive at work a little less stressed.

"My commute is much easier for me now. I don't get nearly as angry as I did when someone would cut me off. I'm going to get my revenge in a much more permanent way," Gallant says.

His top gripes: people who drive slow in the fast lane, don't use turn signals, tailgate, or cut other drivers off.

Gallant

And Gallant has good reason to be mad. He has been involved in two accidents in the past year -- neither of which were his fault.

He says the ultimate goal of the page is to get people to start driving better and reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on the road.

Gallant says the worst cars on the road are BMWs, Volkswagen buses and slow trucks.

Since anyone around the world with access to the Internet can view the page, it has generated a lot of response.

"People from all over the world say you're not alone in California. There are bad drivers everywhere," he says.

By now, you're probably wondering what it takes to get on the Highway 17 Page of Shame.

"To get on the page, you'd have to drive really poorly around me. Cut me off. Cut off a bunch of people in a row or drive really slow in a fast lane," Gallant says.

He's surprised at all the attention the page has received. "I expected a page that me and my friends could laugh at and just have fun with. I never expected it to be like this."

The daily Jerque is cranked out every day in a couple of minutes. Then Gallant reads a few of the many E-mail replies that come in daily. So far, more than 40,000 people have viewed the page.

The home page is linked to another Web page that features a collection of the best bone-headed driver moves.

When someone comes to the pair's page looking for the "Jerque du Jour," they might find they have been ridiculed for their own driving on the information superhighway.


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