When one shameless woman drove on the side walk each and every day, her actions infuriated people. They couldn’t understand how she could get away with her dangerous driving for so long. But when the woman’s punishment finally came, the judge made sure to teach her a lesson that she wouldn’t forget.
Shena Hardin comes from Cleveland, Ohio. She is a mom to a daughter and apparently keen to set a good example. However, in 2012 she made an error in judgement that she would live to regret.
Like many moms, Hardin took care of her kid’s school run. Seemingly, she was keen to get her daughter there on time so that she could start the day right. However, to do so, she cut corners. Literally.
Each day, Hardin passed a school bus in her car. The bus would stop at an intersection in order to drop some kids off, and when it stopped, the road would be too narrow for traffic to pass on the other side.
Faced with this situation, most motorists would simply wait for the bus driver to finish dropping off the children. Then, once the bus pulled off, they could continue with their journey. However, Hardin wasn’t like most motorists. It seems she was a little too impatient for all that.
Often, Hardin would bypass the bus by making a pretty dangerous maneuver. She’d pull onto the sidewalk and drive around the larger vehicle before returning to the road. But her hazardous driving hadn’t gone unnoticed.
Uriah Herron, the driver of the bus, quickly grew tired of watching Hardin dangerously drive on the sidewalk time and time again. So he decided to do something about it. One day in 2012, he filmed Hardin’s behavior from the bus.
In the footage, as expected, Hardin swerved the bus by pulling onto the sidewalk. And it was enough evidence to take the haphazard driver to court. Indeed, the judge thanked Herron for having the good sense to film Hardin’s misdemeanor.
Hardin had originally denied ever driving on the sidewalk, but when the footage emerged, she was forced to admit her crime and pleaded guilty.
However, Cleveland Municipal Court judge Pinkey Carr wanted to make an example of her. “In this situation, because she [Hardin] was so brazen, I wanted to make sure it was more than a slap on the wrist,” she later told Cleveland.com.
To do so, Carr took her inspiration from Municipal Judge Michael Cicconetti of Painesville, Lake County, Ohio. Cicconetti is famed for his creative and alternative approach to sentencing offenders, and his sentences rarely involve a prolonged prison spell.
But while this may be the case, it’s fair to say the crooks he deals with don’t get off lightly. To punish one couple who’d stolen a figure of Jesus from a nativity scene, he made them dress up as characters from the Bible and walk the streets accompanied by a donkey. Another time he made a man stand with a pig and a sign stating, “This is not a police officer,” because the man had insulted a cop during a confrontation.
Explaining his unconventional approach to punishment, Cicconetti said there was method behind his apparent madness. “It is too easy to put people in jail,” he told Cleveland.com. “They go to jail and… it does not deter the crime.”
So with this in mind, Judge Carr came up with a novel idea on how to discipline Hardin. She ordered the disgraced mom to stand out on the sidewalk with a sign that read, “Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus.”
As a result, one cold day in November 2012, Hardin spent one hour on the streets with her sign. However, she spent the period smoking and using her cellphone, so Judge Carr ordered her to return the following day. “If I wanted someone standing there for an hour texting and smoking cigarettes, I would have had that as part of her sentence,” she told WKYC-TV at the time.
So the following day, Hardin returned to the spot and appeared to take her punishment a little more seriously. And it was a sight that pleased many of the parents who saw her. “She’s an idiot, just like her sign says,” Lisa Kelley, whose young daughter rides the bus, told Fox News.
However, others took a more sympathetic view of Hardin. A man named Archie Berwick came out in support of Hardin and even joined her with a sign saying, “If she’s an idiot, then so am I.” Speaking to NewsNet5, he added, “I don’t agree with what you did, but I still don’t believe you’re an idiot.”
However divisive the punishment may have been, though, it did appear to have a lasting effect on Hardin. Later, in a statement, she said the experience had taught her a lesson. Yes, she owned up to the fact that she’d made a stupid mistake by driving on the sidewalk.
“I broke traffic laws no different from running a red light or texting while driving,” her statement said. “All have the potential of dangerous consequences. It’s a learning lesson for me and an example for my daughter. If you make poor or bad choices then you have to suffer the consequences. But this won’t break me, and I’ll move forward.”
So in this case, it seems the humiliation of Hardin’s punishment may have been more effective than prison. No doubt she’ll think twice before breaking the law. Furthermore, the kids and parents at school are safe from Hardin’s dangerous driving.