How to Report A Dangerous Driver

Traffic Safety Store

A review of five apps to report dangerous drivers over at the Traffic Safety Store blog:

“As motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians we all deal with them: The guy who pushes his way into a traffic lane without even glancing; the teenage girl who rolls through an intersection because she’s texting; the middle aged man who drives his sports car like he’s in a video game,” they write. “[Zapatag] may help you save yourself. Reckless driving tends to beget reckless driving by amping up the rage factor. Instead of getting angry, Zapatag lets road victims “get even” by publishing the offender’s license plate and violation on the inter-webs.”


Our Longtime Troll

We’ve not been able to work on Zapatag as much as we’d like, and the long-dreamt-about mobile app is on hold. Fortunately, for the most part, the old-school website keeps humming along.

We have problems with spam, but most sites do. In terms of complaints and abuse reports, though, it’s actually just one troll that causes the most trouble. Sure, talking about this troll is “feeding the troll,” but frankly, the persistent and intense attention we’ve gotten from this troublemaker over the years is almost admirable.

Well, admirable if the comments weren’t also so vulgar, hateful, and embarrassingly inarticulate.

We do moderate them as best we can. We ban IPs as soon as we can identify them. Nonetheless, so obsessed is this troll with being heard, you may be exposed to these comments from time to time (especially if our shaky database fails to clear them out completely), and for that, we apologize.

At least our longtime troll is consistent. The same vulgar comments are posted indiscriminately, and the specific targets of hate have been the same since 1895. (Well, not really, but it feels like that long.) If you’re curious, here are the people in this troll’s crosshairs:

  • Lisa Bonsignore (Bohemia, New York)
  • Barbara Leshin (Hicksville, New York)
  • Syeda Tanzia Hossain (Nesconset, New York)
  • Ruth Romo
  • Bessy Canales
  • Mercedes Saravia
  • Michelle Halpern

Of course, the troll uses these names as usernames at times. So if you’re any of the above people, again, we’re sorry. Perhaps this will help you figure out who’s been stabbing that voodoo doll with your name on it.

And here’s the growing list of IPs used and blocked:


Of course, as soon as one rathole is blocked up, our troll burrows another…

We do want to make Zapatag a useful — or at least interesting — service for all righteous road warriors. For your ongoing contributions, we thank you!


Brand X on Road Rage

Michael Shen, who runs the L.A. Can’t Drive blog, wrote a piece for Brand X on sites like Zapatag.com:

Ranting on the internet is as common as ice in a freezer, but the possibility of diverting one’s anger away from the driver’s seat and toward the webisphere is an intriguing concept and one that could actually reap tangible results in the real world. Intuitively, this might make sense to a lot of people. But is there data to support it?

I concede that Zapatag.com probably won’t make roads safer… but it still feels good to report bad drivers.


Site of the Day at AskMen.com


Cool beans. Zapatag.com has been named the Site of the Day for July 7, 2009 at AskMen.com. AskMen.com is an online magazine acquired by gaming and publishing powerhouse IGN in 2005 and boasts a monthly readership of over 7 million. Thanks to Gregory T. for suggesting us, and to AskMen.com’s Miranda Lightstone for the 9 out of 10 rating!


Gravatars and Editable Zaps!

GravatarNot everyone uploads an avatar to Zapatag. For users, it’s a pain to keep your avatars up to date across dozens of web services, and for visitors, a row of generic, gray silhouettes isn’t particularly interesting to look at. So we’ve implemented Gravatars, or Globally Recognized Avatars. With a Gravatar, you can use the same avatar across the web, automatically. And if you don’t upload an avatar, we’ll assign you a simple “identicon,” a unique, colored geometric shape.

Much like cut-and-paste on Apple’s iPhone, we’re also thrilled to announce a feature that should have been included in the first release of Zapatag: the ability to edit Zaps! Did the map pin end up on the wrong side of town? Did you misspell “idiot”? Want to delete, or add, a photo? As long as you’re logged in, you can go to a Zap’s detail page and click “Update or Edit This Zap.”

As a new feature, it may not work exactly as intended, so please do file a bug report if something goes wrong. We’ve already noticed that if you edit a Zap submitted via Twitter, the system may re-import the original Zap, creating a duplicate. We’re working on fixing this now.

Zaps on a Map

Zapatag has been growing nicely since March. We’ve received over 800 Zaps from 47 different states (c’mon, Arkansas, Vermont and Wyoming!). We’ve gotten some great reviews (from friends as well as tech blogs), and we’ve quickly climbed Google’s search results for “report bad drivers” (even after I stopped running Google AdWords). I keep thinking I should be doing more to promote the site, but it seems to be doing pretty well on its own.

We’ve got other improvements in the works, from better highlighting of photos to adding Canadian provinces to the list of states. If there’s anything you’d like to see, don’t hesitate to let us know!


Zapatag.com on WCBD

Technology commentator “PC Mike” produced this fun segment on “revenge sites” for NBC affiliate WCBD in Charleston, SC. Zapatag.com is featured!


Link Love

Over the last couple of weeks, there have been some great write-ups of Zapatag.com. Here are a few of them, though certainly there have been many more!

Thanks for the reviews and thoughts!

July 2019
« Mar