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Once This Idea Gets Rolling . .

Los Angeles City Councilman Rudy Svorinich wants “How am I driving?” bumper stickers plastered on all 1,900 city-regulated taxicabs. Though there’s nothing wrong with the idea, executing it might be tough: First you have to find a cab, elusive game indeed in this city.

But even if the City Council could corner a few, why should cab drivers be singled out? What about a dial-in number for the performance of all city employees, including elected officials? For the latter, the bumper sticker would read, “1-800-Why-am-I-here?"--a relevant question if your public servant’s presence at a certain location and time is, well, unusual.

Examples are instructive. A motorist phoned Florida-based Driver Alert, which fields 1-800 numbers for about 5,000 companies and nearly 400,000 employees, to report a dead truck driver. It was just a fellow sleeping on the job.

Connecticut did a “How am I driving” program a while back, and the administrator of its Department of Environmental Protection ran up five speeding and tailgating complaints in just four months. That’s 1-800-Lousy.

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Meanwhile, the penalties for bad driving here in L.A. should be severe, say being forced to ride the MTA’s sardine-can buses for a few months.


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