A Facebook page exposing aggressive drivers in the Dallas area was shut down Friday, one day after "You Can't Drive Dallas" was highlighted in a WFAA story.
The page creator Pete Turner of The Colony told News 8 Friday evening the page was removed by Facebook without notice.
"Once the dust settles, I'll start a new one," Turner said.
The page, which posted license plates and names of supposed offending drivers, grew from just over 1,000 likes on Thursday to more than 5,500 when it was pulled Friday.
The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told News 8 on Friday the publishing of license plate data and owner information attached to it is prohibited "unless authorized by the individual or by law."
Texas DMV spokesperson Adam Shaivitz said any outside entity obtaining information from the state must sign agreements specifying the statuatory exception that allows them to obtain and use the information.
"Any resale or redisclosure of such information for a purpose not allowed by law violates the act," Shaivitz said.
ORIGINAL STORY 2/25/16
THE COLONY – If you're driving aggressively or recklessly around North Texas, don’t expect the world not to find out.
That’s the goal behind the “You Can’t Drive, Dallas” Facebook page that had over 1,100 likes by Thursday and encourages users to post photos of vehicle plates of aggressive drivers.
Pete Turner administers the page and runs the plate information through open records data and posts the name of the alleged offending driver online.
“Some of the responses have been angry and actually a lot of them have been very apologetic,” Turner said.
The retired police officer from The Colony started the page a year ago as a closed group for drivers in The Colony and Little Elm area.
“I just started noticing a lot more reckless driving when construction started on FM 423,” Turner said.
In October, Turner transferred the group to a Facebook page with a much broader reach, putting out the call for shaming reckless drivers across the metroplex.
“If we expose the lack of anonymity in social media – maybe these people will be more aware – that ‘hey, if I start driving recklessly somebody could see me and I could end up on that page,’” Turner said.
Drivers with whom WFAA spoke Thursday at the downtown Dallas office of the Texas DMV had mixed reviews.
Sabrina Watson said she feels drivers who take photos of offending drivers aren’t improving safety by using their phones behind the wheel.
“I know people shouldn’t drive aggressively but posting someone’s information on social media isn’t going to help the matter,” Watson says.
Phyllis Harris had just picked up her new plate and sticker and said she didn’t have a problem with the concept.
“We don’t really have privacy anymore, so it probably doesn’t matter,” Harris said.
License plate data and the owner information attached to it are public records in Texas.
Turner says the overwhelming majority of offending driver reports still originate in the northern reaches of the DFW area, but hopes it will expand.
“I’m going to keep it up until aggressive driving has gone down,” Turner said.