From its infamous dash-cam videos, Russia seems to have grown a reputation for bad driving. Or at least, a lot of bad driving caught on camera.
Along these same lines comes a lot of illegal driving on sidewalks, parking in bus lanes, and many other traffic violations that often inconveniences pedestrians or worse, puts them in serious or even life threatening danger.
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For the past five years, the “Stop a Douchebag” movement, an organized group of citizen vigilantes, has worked to curb (no pun intended) these issues in some of Russia’s major cities. And they post the videos on YouTube to draw attention to their cause and shame the violators.
In one of their uploads featured below, a citizen appreciates their hard work, “Thank you for doing this.” Soon thereafter, drivers start taking a sidewalk shortcut to bypass traffic. Some quickly drive back to where they left the roadway. Others do not. Bad idea!
“I don’t care for anyone else. I drive where I please.”
Reads the sticker applied to the windshields of vehicles which refuse to turn back or continue to drive forward, often directly into the young activists’ path. Same goes in other videos of cars, taxis, delivery trucks, even government vehicles parked in bus lanes or otherwise illegally. And those stickers are very, very hard to remove it would appear!
Personally, the more I watched the Stop a Douchebag movement videos, the more I was impressed with their work. I greatly respect their ability to remain calm, use the laws to support their cause, and often make some damn hilarious videos in the process!
And that goes to why I think it works! These young men are respectful to everyone from the complete jerk drivers to the police to the passerby thanking them for their service. They video record the interactions for documentation and evidence (and an entertaining YouTube channel with over 183,000 subscribers). They call the police when things get out of hand or more serious. For these reasons, I think they’re on onto something and their methods and means seem appropriate in the videos I’ve seen.
According to their YouTube channel (found here):
“Stop a Douchebag” is a self-described “Russian youth movement that attempts to enforce the road traffic regulations in Russia. — We do not fight for the law. We fight for people to think about the rights and convenience of others regardless of whether there is a police officer near them or not.”
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