Lifestyle & Human Interest

Clever Grandmother Uses Hair Dryer Disguised as Speed Gun To Slow Down Fast Drivers


When drivers ignore traditional speed warnings, there’s grandma Patti Baumgartner to take care of things.

“I’m helping to keep Finley Point safe,” she posted on Facebook on Aug. 17. “SLOW DOWN! Speed checked by radar.”

The photos she posted show her sitting on a lawn chair on the side of a road, armed with a cup of coffee — and a hair dryer.

According to Baumgartner, who is from South Finley Point, Montana, pointing her white hair dryer at passing drivers “encourages” them to slow down because they might think granny’s got a speed gun.

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“They forget to slow down — and there are a lot of people that are complaining about that they can’t walk or ride their bikes,” she said, according to KETV-TV. “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,” she told KNXV-TV.

Baumgartner’s son thought her solution was pretty funny, so he tweeted her picture and tagged Highway Patrol Trooper Noah Pesola in hopes that the officer would notice and respond. He did.

“I should probably go meet this lady and give her a prize,” the trooper tweeted.

The next day, he did just that.

“I was able to find Ms. Patti,” he tweeted on Aug. 20. “She was made an honorary Trooper with a campaign hat and sticker badge for her work to keep her grandkids safe.”

“I tried hiding, but some how he found me from my pictures,” Baumgartner posted. “Don’t run from the Montana Highway Patrol. Boy he’s a tall and good looking kid. I wanted to ask how old he was.”

But the trooper was just there to applaud the vigilant grandmother’s attempts to tackle a serious issue for the area with a clever “hack.” For her efforts, he awarded her with the unofficial title “Honorary Montana Trooper.”

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“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,” Pesola said, according to KNXV.

“It’s not an official (title) or anything like that for the honorary trooper, which is kinda what I called it,” he explained. “I didn’t know what else to do for her, when she’s doing something for the community and like she says she’s got grand kids in the area so she’s doing something for her grand kids benefits.”

“The best thing I could think of was give her a trooper hat and a badge to make her look a little more official.”

Some have suggested that people might be slowing down not because they think granny’s got a speed gun, but because they want to know why in the world a woman is sitting on the side of the road with a hair dryer — but as long as the result is that drivers slow down, does it really matter? Baumgartner’s accomplished her mission either way.

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