NYT Disses CA DMV Web Work

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
nyt disses ca dmv web work

As much as TTAC likes to make fun of, well, everyone, we tend to focus our rhetorical cannon on auto-related hypocrisy and cant. Not so The New York Times. The Old Gray Lady's LA Bureau Chief Jennifer Steinhauer decided to smack down the California Department of Motor Vehicles' (DMV) perfectly understandable, in fact laudable decision to put driver training videos on YouTube and create its own myspace page. Steinhauer starts off nasty ("As YouTube videos go, Kyle’s driving test has nothing on Gizmo, the toilet-flushing cat") and gets nastier ("Since the department’s effort at youtube.com/californiadmv began last month, some of the clips have been viewed nearly 5,000 times. In comparison, “Gizmo Flushes” has been viewed 3.4 million times over the last 18 months"). Other than the fact that nobody's visiting the site and page– an issue that the snarky article helps rectify– her main complaint seems to be that the content is, as the Brits say, naff. "There is abundant instruction on the meaning of dotted white lines, parallel parking and blind spots, much of it set to music apparently performed by an ’80s glam rock cover band." At the risk of sounding hopeless web 1.9, the DMV is not supposed to be cool. It's supposed to be effective.

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4 of 5 comments
  • Martin Albright Martin Albright on Nov 23, 2007

    Wow, making fun of the DMV. How original. What's next, a critique of airline food?

  • Blunozer Blunozer on Nov 23, 2007


  • Andyinsdca Andyinsdca on Nov 23, 2007

    I watched the motorcycle vid and it was pretty good for a gov't created video. But the NYT story was extraordinarily snooty. Wow.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Nov 23, 2007

    Good for the California DMV. At least they are trying something new, which is more than can be said of a lot of DMV's. Personally, I'd like to see if they could talk Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo into making a driver safety video game to teach things such as turning your head to check your blind spot before switching lanes. The objective of the game is to get home safely without any damage, deaths, or tickets. They key to forcing teens into playing this game is to set up the machine so it will refuse to play regular games until they finish X hours of this game.