Ms Baumgartner, of Polson, Montana, devised a cunning plan to dupe speeding cars into thinking she was a traffic officer in a bid to police the road in her neighbourhood. She did this by staking out on the road and aiming a hairdryer at passers by, conning them into thinking it was a speed measuring radar gun.
Surely this couldn’t work, right? Wrong. The hairdryer acted as handy deterrent and thus, crime was prevented.
Take that, crime.
Ms Baumgartner’s son posted the photos on Twitter for the attention of resident traffic cop Noah Pesola in an attempt to raise awareness for the situation in their Polson neighbourhood.
Talking to local radio station KPAX, Ms Baumgartner said: “There are a lot of people that are complaining that they can’t walk or ride their bikes.
“I wouldn’t even attempt riding a bike around.
“We were talking about maybe something would slow the cars down. So, we decided to put me in a chair and I guess use the hair dryer as a speed thing.”
Patrol Trooper Pesola took notice of Ms Baumgartner’s activities and praised her efforts, telling KPAX: “I thought it was hilarious.
‘I think that we have a speed issue in Montana, and I thought it was a great creative idea for the public to try and combat that a little bit without making people too upset.’
Trooper Pesola appreciated Ms Baumgartner’s vigilance so much that he awarded her an honorary patrol trooper.
‘She’s doing something for the community and, as she says, she’s got grandkids in the area,’ he said.
‘So she’s doing something for her grandkids’ benefit. The best thing I could think of was to give her a trooper hat and a badge to make her look a little more official.’
Although it’s unclear as to whether this creative tactic actually works longterm, Patti plans on continuing the practice until local speeders wise up to the potential danger their driving could have on the community.
Twitter users responded to her sons tweet with praise, with one user saying: ‘I love people who actually take charge and stop complaining! Way to go lady!’
Way to go indeed.
According to reports from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute back in 2018, Montana had the third highest vehicular fatality rate in the USA, at 21.7 deaths per 100,000 people, which was surpassed only by Mississippi and Wyoming.
But despite Montana’s issues with speeding, fatalities on the state’s roads fell for the third straight year to as small a number as has been recorded in almost 70 years. If helpful citizens like Ms Baumgartner carry on the good work, that number could continue to decrease dramatically.
Max is an awkward Medievalist struggling with ever evolving technology. When not writing for The Hook, he can be found attending self-help classes for his decade-long addiction to KFC. His greatest achievements include getting blocked by Owen Jones on Twitter and completing the Metro quick crossword in just under twenty-seven hours.Follow