Creator of ‘Bad Drivers of Nova Scotia’ videos says aim is to make people drive safer

Creator of ‘Bad Drivers of Nova Scotia’ videos says aim is to make people drive safer
WATCH ABOVE: A Halifax man's YouTube series is finding a significant audience. He posts videos of what he says are bad drivers of Nova Scotia. He's attracted his share of controversy, with some people saying they shouldn't be posted, but he says there's an important message behind them. Global's Steve Silva went for a drive with him Friday afternoon.

A Halifax man’s video series called Bad Drivers of Nova Scotia is garnering tens of thousands of views on YouTube.

“Driving here is really dangerous,” Mike Smith, the Dalhousie University student behind the videos, said.

His videos show near-misses and questionable driving decisions made by other motorists.

The series can be viewed on his YouTube page (WARNING: the videos contain profanity).

The 26-year-old said he has been saving all of his dashcam video over the past six years for archival purposes, to be able to show people in the future how Nova Scotia physically evolved.

Noticing many incidents of what he considered bad driving, Smith decided to upload compilations, which range in length from about 10 to 15 minutes each; more than 40 have been posted.

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“I thought, you know, this could actually be helpful in some way,” Smith said. “If one person who has bad driving habits sees themselves, maybe they’ll think, ‘I don’t want to do that anymore.'”

The first video was uploaded in 2014.

David Fraser, a privacy lawyer for McInnes Cooper, said these kind of videos don’t break privacy laws.

“The intrusion has to be highly offensive to a reasonable person, so if it’s happening in a public place, you’re never going to get a judge who is going to say that it kind of crosses that line,” he said.

While calling someone a bad driver could be considered defamatory in theory, Fraser said there are plenty of defences to argue against it.

With video cameras being commonplace, especially on cellphones, it’s never been easier to upload videos that have a public shaming component.

Mike Smith uses this camera to record video.
Mike Smith uses this camera to record video. Steve Silva / Global News

Last month, a woman in Toronto made international headlines after being confronted for allegedly parking in a disabled parking spot.

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While her actions were condemned, the man who took the video was also criticized for uploading it in the first place.

“Is it really appropriate and is it really fair that somebody’s 15 minutes of fame is based entirely on the worst moment that they might have had?” Fraser asked.

Jaywalkers and cyclists also appear in the video series.

Smith said he’s not above reproach; he uploaded a video of him rear-ending another car.

“Absolutely,  I was following way too close and… it happens,” he said.

In another video, Smith used several profanities while confronting a man he accused of parking illegally.

“Yeah, I shouldn’t have done that,” he said.