Woman who drove on footpath holds 'idiot' sign

THOMAS J SHEERAN
Last updated 07:33 14/11/2012

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A woman caught on camera driving on a footpath to pass a US school bus that was unloading children has stood in the cold at an intersection holding a sign warning people about idiots.

A Cleveland Municipal Court judge ordered 32-year-old Shena Hardin to serve the highly public sentence for one hour Tuesday and Wednesday (today and tomorrow, NZ time) for the September 11 citation.

She arrived bundled up against the 34-degree cold (1 degree Celsius), puffing a cigarette and wearing head phones as passing vehicles honked.

Satellite TV trucks were on hand to stream the event live near downtown Cleveland.

The sign read: "Only an idiot would drive on the sidewalk to avoid a school bus."

Hardin refused to comment, as did her mother, who watched from a parked car.

Hardin's license was suspended for 30 days and she was ordered to pay US$250 in court costs.

Lisa Kelley, whose nine-year-old daughter boards the bus which Hardin had been passing on the footpath, said the sentence fit the crime.

"She's an idiot, just like her sign says," Kelley said as she watched Hardin lean against a fence, her head down and her eyes hidden by dark glasses.

"She did this almost every day last year," Kelley said. "She won't stop laughing. She's not remorseful, she laughed at every court appearance. She's still laughing, so she needs to be humiliated like this."

Kelley said she was only sorry the woman was standing in the cold and not the rain or snow.

A message seeking comment was left for Hardin's attorneys.

Bill Lipold, 37, who works nearby in the blue-collar neighborhood of older homes and factories, yelled "Why do you hate kids" to Hardin.

He hopes the punishment works. "How else are you going to stop her from doing it again? She really didn't show remorse for her action after being caught, so you've got to try something," he asked.

With two schools located with two blocks of the location and busy commuter traffic, the area can be risky for youngsters walking to class, Lipold said.

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- AP

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