Sunday, September 21, 2014

Horrifying Canadian Driving

My original plan was to use the website of the Canadian postal system, Canada Post, to help construct today's post. In fact, it's rather essential that I have it.

Unfortunately, it will be down for maintenance all night. So instead, you get the host of the series Canada's Worst Driver, Andrew Younghusband. Canada's Worst Driver, for you non-Canadians, is basically the most high-profile traffic safety video there is. You get a group of terrible drivers, nominated by friends and family who have to deal with their driving, and they surrender their licenses temporarily to undergo 'rehabilitation'- aka, the show. The goal is to improve your driving enough, via the challenges the show provides, to get your license back and 'graduate' out of the game. You want off the show as quickly as possible. One person graduates every episode (save the first episode), or at least they're supposed to; episodes will come up where nobody graduates. Eventually, one person is left to be saddled with the title of Canada's Worst Driver, much to their chagrin.

And yes, there is a traffic cop on call, and yes, he has contacted the local police of drivers who commit or admit to outright illegal activity. Television tends to prove a rather powerful shaming factor for many of the drivers, who (usually) treat their presence with the utmost seriousness, however much the show pokes fun.

And fun is poked. A sample episode, Season 9, episode 5, is part of the all-star season (oh, yes, they managed one), you will note the starring role of Kevin Simmons, "winner" of Season 8 (and who would eventually claim the title of Worst Driver Ever). Part 1 is here, Part 2, and Part 3. You will also note the exasperation of the host and judges that shows that they are also taking this seriously at the end of the day.

So in between that, Younghusband hosts a spinoff called Don't Drive Here!, in which he attempts to gain a local license in some of the world's worst driving cities. In the same episode I provide you, he's in Lima, Peru. (It's kind of hard to find full episodes in English.) So have fun with that while I wait for Canada Post to get out of maintenance.

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