A Twitter account launched earlier this month is looking to shame drivers who park badly in Alberta's two major cities.
"This account is here to shame #YYC's worst park jobs. See somebody parked like an idiot? Tweet us a pic and tell your friends," states the Twitter handle @DBagParkingYYC.
Brian LaBelle from Edmonton is the man behind the account. He decided to launch it in Calgary after it became a hit in that city.
"I thought the instant sharing of it on Twitter would be fairly appealing to most people," he said. "As soon as we put it on Twitter it really exploded."
LaBelle says he doesn't feel bad about shaming drivers. He says they are adults and know the rules, but choose to ignore them.
"I don't really see a problem posting a picture of a 30-year-old with a Lamborghini parked in a crosswalk of an emergency lane at Costco," he said. "I don't have any problem shaming him at all."
'It gives me an outlet'
Calgary's Neal Delaney took a picture Friday morning.
"I don't know how effective these shaming campaigns on social media are," he said. "But it gives me an outlet, you know, when I see something that is a little outrageous."
It seems to be catching on in Calgary, but there are some mixed feelings out on the street.
"Police can't enforce it all the time, right. And would people do it if they knew that other people would say, 'That's dumb, like why are you doing that — it's ignorant,'" said Ken Young.
Amira Elnaqeeb wonder about the motive behind the account. She says public awareness is good, but just making fun of people is not fair. She says the tweets don't take emergencies into account.
"Maybe there is an excuse behind [it]. Not everyone would do that out of carelessness," she said.
Awareness a good thing, says parking authority
Heather Campbell says she doubts it will change bad parking habits.
"I guess if it lets people blow off steam by putting it on Twitter instead of, you know, defacing a car or something. Maybe that's good."
The Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) also questions whether it's useful, but says the awareness is good.
CPA is planning to expand its parking app this fall to let Calgarians submit pictures of parking infractions on their smartphones.
"[So] giving us information about location and helping our officers get to these locations where others observe infractions, like accessible parking," said CPA general manager Troy McLeod.
Currently the app is only for iPhones, but the plan is to also include Android and BlackBerry phones.