Photo of the Day

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Sidewalk driver sentenced to hold ‘idiot’ sign

This morning in Cleveland, a motorist who got in trouble with the law for driving on the sidewalk to bypass a school bus will serve her humiliating sentence: holding up a sign reading “only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus” for an hour. NBC’s Katy Tur reports.

Let’s see: Jail time or public shaming? This “idiot” got off easy.

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>> reporter: good morning, savannah. certainly very unusual. i’m going to step aside to show you when this sign reads. unfortunately, we’ve got this truck. now you can see sheena harden who has to hold a sign that says only an idiot would drive on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus, and that’s essentially what she’s being punished for. the judge says she couldn’t give her jail time. she thought this would be a more appropriate sentence. the video is so damning it seems for itself. watch as 32-year-old sheena harden doesn’t even pause as she veers right and drives up on the sidewalk to bypass a school bus stopped to pick up disabled students.

>> she comes through at 7:30 every morning. goes around the school bus every morning.

>> reporter: harden was caught on tape by the school bus driver. fed up with watching her put herself and his kids in danger. harden’s reasoning, she apparently didn’t want to wait.

>> clearly the handicap boy cannot run across the street. there’s a factory across the street.

>> reporter: that was harden ‘s mother in September explaining why her daughter’s maneuver wasn’t all that bad. we spoke with the director of the neighboring day care center soon after the video surfaced. she showed us just how precarious harden ‘s escape route actually could have been.

>> if we had to evacuate the building, we would have to come through this door. this door here to come out of building, and if she’s coming up on the sidewalk, well, then there’s the danger right there.

>> reporter: a cleveland municipal court judge agreed sentencing harden to a $250 fine and actual penance, ordering her to stand on the street corner and hold this sign, both today and tomorrow. it reads only an idiot would drive on a sidewalk to avoid a school bus .

>> chances are, had she shown some remorse, maybe i would not have given her that extra part of the sentence.

>> reporter: neither harden or her lawyer would talk to nbc news about the sign, but in court the disgraced driver offered an explanation for her impatience.

>> they would just stand there and talk after the children were loaded, again, not justifying.

>> reporter: yesterday we spoke about the day care ‘s director about the judge’s orderer to make harden wear an idiot sign. you don’t think it’s too embarrassing to stand there with a sign saying only idiots drive on a sidewalk?

>> idiot is a strong word but you have to have been an idiot to drive on the sidewalk in the first place.

For the politically-correct, maybe; but I can think of a lot harsher words that fit her.

Great on the judge for her sentencing, though.

> reporter: now, she has to stand here from 7:45 to 8:45, both today and tomorrow. also has a fine. other than that though, she will lose her license for 30 days . savannah?

11 Responses to “Photo of the Day”

  1. 1


    Hah – I had seen the video of her getting busted – good on the bus driver for going the extra mile to bring this woman to justice before the story could take a tragic turn; good on the judge for the creative sentencing. Hopefully the impact goes beyond just one woman, and the attention drawn by this case reminds drivers everywhere to think about real priorities when it comes to the timing of their daily commutes.

  2. 2


    Was there some sort of opinion being expressed by the photographer by using the photo angle and cropping that included “white?”

  3. 3

    Rides A Pale Horse

    From 7:45 to 8:45 for two days and the loss of her license for 30 days? And she’s not “wearing” the damned sign. Not nearly enough. Eight hours a day for 30 days and permanent revocation of driving privileges would be more appropriate.

    But then, she appears to be a member of one of the protected classes.

    Oops. Was that racist?

    Tough shit.

  4. 4


    Gee, looks like she’s just standing there texting. Only one hour, on two days? That’ll just give her something to bitch about with her friends, and will not teach her anything.

  5. 6

    Rides A Pale Horse

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Nope, not out of line at all. The word racist rolls off me like water off a ducks back. It’s been my experience that the ones that howl racist at any hint of the truth of a situation are the real racists.

    Nice try.

    Thanks for playing!

  6. 8

    Rides A Pale Horse

    @Richard Wheeler:

    Good sir Richard. If it is your intention to draw me into a battle of wits, please be informed that I, unlike some here, refuse to engage in such a contest with a completely unarmed person as you have so often displayed on these pages.

    You are sir, with all due respect, thereby. dismissed.

  7. 9

    Richard Wheeler

    Thanks for the laugh, Agree it makes no sense to take this further.Your statement in #3 defines you.
    btw To dismiss me you’d best be at least Field Grade.

  8. 10


    @Richard Wheeler:

    His comment wasn’t racist, Rich. Cynical, maybe, but not racist. It’s more revealing that you assume racism rather than look at the truly obvious. That is, that there does, in fact, seem to be a protected class, or classes, within America. Hell, Obama all but said that during his entire campaign, and you still deny it. Objective, you are not.

    And btw, please drop the attempts at redressing people because of some military rank you held some 30 years ago. You aren’t in the military anymore, Rich, and even a washed-out private could tell you to go to hell right now. And you couldn’t do one damn thing about it, other than puff out your chest and look indignant that the private did so. Kinda like you are doing now.

    Oh, and I’ve known plenty of junior enlisted with more class than what you just showed there, including the two army sergeants I met the other day who only heard that I was prior military, with no mention of rank, and extended me the respect usually reserved for active duty officers.

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