by Dale Russell
Sonny Holman says he was leaving for work when a white state of Georgia van flew by his home in Cedartown. He was so angry he followed the driver.
“When I got up the road there,” Holman says, “ she was weaving all over the road.”
So, Sonny did what 4500 Georgians have done during the past three years. He Reported Her Driving.
What Happens if You Report State Employee's Bad Driving?
Holman says the reason was simple: “I got nieces and nephews who live around here.”
We've all seen those state vehicles with that yellow bumper sticker telling you, if you see something erratic, like this state driver or sloppy like this one, pick up the phone and call in.
Come on now. Does that work? Will the state do anything about it? Aren't you curious? Well, we were. So, we decided to find out what happens when you Report someone's driving.
We quickly found they not only take your call. They record it.
The FOX 5 I-Team reviewed 3 years’ worth of driving calls. We found 4518 taxpayers reported all kinds of dangerous driving, from speeding, to weaving, to texting while driving.
139 state workers were given severe penalties - written warnings or suspensions. And, believe it or not, 13 of them were fired.
The state’s director Fleet Management created the program several years ago and says it is like putting a supervisor in the car with a state employee.
Finnegan inherited a cumbersome program that forced a driver to log onto a computer to file a complaint.
He made it simple. Starting with a bumper sticker and an offsite boiler room to handle, record, and write up the complaints.
7% of which, by the way are actually complimenting drivers.
“We believe everyone,” says Finnegan, whether it is a bad call or a good one
Surprisingly, we found the state's Community Service Boards drivers are the biggest offenders. And they transport the elderly and disabled in large white vans.
Darrin Reda says the driver of a one of those vans almost hit him, twice.
"Changing lanes with no regard for blinkers, safety, people in his vehicle."
We caught up with Moody, "Those are just folks personal opinions of how my driving. You got a lot of road rage these days."
We tracked down that driver in Covington, getting ready to go to work.
Records show eight different people called and complained about Paul Moody's driving.
"I don't tailgate. (Dale-Why so many calls about you?) Road rage, I'm telling you."
In an email, Moody's bosses at ViewPoint Health, told us in 3 of the 8 calls about his driving, callers got information wrong or Mr. Moody wasn't at fault.
They said Moody has maintained a good driving record and hasn't had a complaint in six months.
So, taxpayers out there, keep your eye on the prize. Or, I should say, the bumper. It just takes a phone call, that's all the State needs.
Fleet manager Ed Finnegan admits the impact of the program has dwindled a bit over the years. So, the state is looking into other ways to track their drivers - including GPS in state cars.
Channel FOX 5 Atlanta