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Joy riding

First publishedin World Highways
June 2019
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The road is now open to traffic – image courtesy of World Highways reader BK Roy. Note that in the April 2019 issue of World Highways, the photo of the month should have been credited to Kestutis Skerys
Our Skidmarks page is highly rated by readers. Your input could help make this page even more entertaining. If you come across any amusing road-related stories or pictures email me at mwoof@ropl.com

A couple in the US recently took advantage of the self-driving features of a Tesla car for reasons other than transportation. They ignored the suggestions from Tesla to remain alert even when the vehicle was using its self-drive mode and instead engaged in sexual acts, which they recorded on video. The pair of adult performers were keen to exploit the capabilities of the level four automation system of the vehicle. The video attracted many viewings when placed on the internet, however Tesla does not endorse vehicle occupants taking their attention away from driving.

An elephant in Thailand was spotted looking for food in somewhat unusual places recently. The pachyderm was searching a number of pick-up trucks for possible food items. Using its trunk, the elephant picked up several items in the back of pick-up trucks passing through the Khao Yai National Park, seeing if these were suitable to eat. Most of the items were inedible and were discarded by the elephant but eventually it found a small container of rice, which it ate. The incident was filmed by some of the vehicle occupants, who wisely did not get out of their cars. Once the elephant had eaten the rice it wandered off, having not caused any actual damage during the incident.

Also in Thailand, a cyclist had to pedal fast to escape pursuit by an elephant. The rider was one of a group cycling through the Khao Yai National Park when he heard a heavy tread of feet behind him. The cyclist realised that he was being charged by an enraged elephant and pedalled hard to get away safely. Once the cyclist had outpaced the elephant, the animal then disappeared into the jungle once more. The animal is known to the park authorities, having made similar charges previously, although it has not so far injured anyone.

A young motorcyclist has found out the hard way that the police do indeed monitor posts on social media. The man had been one of many taking part in a ride out in London late last year. He filmed himself and others popping wheelies and stoppies and riding at excessive speeds, sometimes on the wrong side of the carriageway despite oncoming traffic. In all, his video showed him committing 30 separate traffic offences, for which he has now been charged. When he finally gets his license back, perhaps he will be more careful in the future.

An incident in the UK town of Blackpool recently involved a person being drunk while riding a bicycle and providing passers-by with an unseemly spectacle. The man had consumed 18 cans of beer with a high alcohol content and then proceeded to ride through the town, exposing himself as he pedalled. He crashed the bicycle into a lamp post and was arrested shortly after. Quite how he even managed to get on the bicycle after he had drunk so much of the strong beer has not been revealed.

A cyclist in the UK university city of Cambridge was upset to find that his bicycle had been stolen. The bicycle was returned the next day however, along with a note. This apologised for the original theft and explained that the thief wished to take part in the world naked bike ride, but having no bicycle, had decided to purloin one instead. The note added that as the thief had been too hungover to take part in the world naked bike ride, the bicycle was being returned undamaged.

A family in Nebraska took advantage of recent bad weather to make a snow sculpture of their classic 1967 Ford Mustang. The family took care to make sure the snow sculpture had the correct proportions so as to resemble the actual vehicle. This was left by the roadside and a friend of the family, who also happens to be a local cop, ‘ticketed’ the sculpture for being parked illegally. This caused some amusement locally.

A man in the UK has proven he is unable to learn a simple lesson. Despite being banned from driving  no less than seven times, he blamed his partner for her poor driving following an incident in which he crashed their car. The vehicle had run out of fuel and she was finding it hard to move the car off the road. Another driver became irritated at the delay, at which point the man got into the driver’s seat instead and promptly crashed. Self-awareness does not seem to be uppermost in his personality.

A driver in Ireland is irate that he can no longer drive his car into his own village. The problem is that new speed bumps have been installed at various roads entering the village, which are designed to ensure drivers stick to the speed limit. The man’s VW Passat has been lowered and he found to his misfortune that it simply grounded out on the speed bumps and became stuck fast. Annoyed at this, he complained to the local press and pointed out that other owners of cars with lowered suspension are also now unable to enter the village due to the speed bumps. It is not clear if a simple solution to the problem occurred to him.

In the UK, the owner of a high-performance Lamborghini Huracan Performante supercar will have some explaining to do to his insurance company. The car owner was attending a supercar event run by a specialist performance car dealer in West London when he lost control of the vehicle. The driver was attempting a ‘launch control’ but found the car too hard to control, first hitting a tree and then a wall. The car was seriously damaged in the incident, although the driver escaped unhurt but rather upset at the damage to his vehicle.

A Florida woman has added to her long list of driving offences, by crashing her SUV into a shop. Her licence had been taken away for a previous DUI offence when the woman crashed her vehicle. Two people were in the way as she lost control but luckily escaped injuries while the woman and her passenger were also unharmed in the incident. She explained to officers that she had been parked on the other side of the shop, then drove around to the front and in doing so, lost control. She was not under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash but this is the 18th traffic offence she has committed since 2000, racking up five criminal traffic charges since 2003.

Specialists from Lego and McLaren have built a full-sized replica of a McLaren Senna hypercar, using around 500,000 of the blocks. The model is to be put on display but cannot be driven.

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