First publishedin World Highways
Interest in World Highways can start at a young age (image courtesy of World Highways reader Ular Tooming)
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MUSIC ON THE GO
Video footage shot in Spain recently reveals the driver of a car playing guitar while at the wheel. The passenger in a car driving past shot the video clip as the vehicles travelled along a major highway route. The strumming driver was presumed to be steering with his knees at the time. Quite what the Spanish police would have thought of this type of distracted driving had they caught him.
A woman in the UK is rather less than happy over a parking charge, which has now escalated massively. The woman’s husband, a lawyer, received the £40 parking fine after failing to see signs posted saying that the area where he had left her car was a restricted zone. He contested the charge on the grounds that the warning signs were not properly visible. However, he lost his case in court. Complete with court costs and charges from bailiffs, the costs spiralled considerably to £30,000, placing the woman in danger of bankruptcy.
DRINKING AND DRIVING?
A man in Florida was pulled over by police recently for a suspected DUI offence. The officers had spotted the man’s car weaving dangerously as it travelled along the road. The man had an open bottle of bourbon in his car and when asked about this, told officers that he was not drinking and driving. He explained that he was only drinking bourbon while stopped at traffic lights. The officers were rather less than impressed by this excuse and booked him for DUI.
Goats have been seen clambering around difficult to access areas of the Mahoning River Bridge in the US state of Pennsylvania. Quite why the goats have done this is unclear but the animals seem as drawn to urban exploring adventures as many thrill-seeking humans. The goats first climbed a concrete support for the structure, part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and then trotted happily 61m along a 200mm-wide steel beam, some 30m from the ground. Finding their way blocked, this then forced them to turn round and go back the way they had come. However, the goats then became stuck and after bleating on the bridge for some 18 hours, workers were then called by the owner to rescue the animals using an inspection platform.
Officers in the US state of Virginia recently faced a difficult challenge: how to stop a speeding armoured vehicle? Police were called following reports of a tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC) travelling at speed along a public highway. The APC had been stolen from an Army National Guard facility and was soon spotted, travelling at speeds of up to 64km/h. But because of its tracks, the vehicle was impervious to ‘stinger’ type devices designed to puncture pneumatic tyres. And due to its armour plating, simply shooting at the engine was impossible. Luckily, the machine was unarmed. Officers pursued the APC for 95km, which for a period was driven along I-95, until the driver stopped abruptly. The APC was surrounded and the driver, a soldier, taken into custody. An explanation for his behaviour has not been provided.
Police in the town of Dover in the US state of Delaware recently found an unusual obstruction blocking a road. A house, complete with furniture, had been abandoned on a trailer in the middle of the road. The frame of the house had failed, causing it to sag at one end. The owners had apparently been warned that the frame of the house meant it was too weak to be transported by road, but carried on regardless. It was later moved from the roadway. Quite what the owner plans to do with the broken-backed building now remains unknown.
An artist in Tasmania’s main city of Hobart in Australia recently decided to have himself buried underneath a road for 72 hours as part of an art project. A hole large enough for a standard container was excavated in the roadway and the specially adapted unit was then lowered into the ground. The man had water as well as a bucket for personal use, with an air hose ensuring that he would not suffocate. After being lowered into place, the top of the container was then surfaced and vehicle traffic was once more allowed to use the stretch of Macquarie Street. The road works have been paid for by the art event organisers. The idea of having an artist under a road was initially planned for an event in Germany around 10 years ago but was not able to be carried out due to health and safety legislation.
NORMAL FOR NORFOLK?
Police officers in the Norfolk town of Kings Lynn were horrified at the condition of a vehicle they stopped recently. Missing its front wings (fenders) and headlights after a crash, the vehicle also had no steering wheel. Instead, the driver was using a pair of mole grips clamped to the steering column to manoeuvre the vehicle. There was no driver’s seat, with the man instead sitting on an upturned and slightly battered bucket, meaning also that the seatbelt could not be used. The driver was charged with a string of offences, which the local press reported as being too long to list in full.
A woman in California is thanking her lucky stars after a serious crash. The woman was driving her car along a coastal stretch of Route One in California when she was forced to swerve to avoid hitting an obstruction in the roadway. She lost control and the car veered off the road, then fell over 60m down the side of a cliff. Suffering injuries from the fall and without a cellphone, she was unable to call for assistance and then spent several days sheltering in her wrecked vehicle. To survive she was forced to drink water from her car’s radiator and, luckily given the warm climate, it did not contain any potentially toxic anti-freeze. Eventually, another motorist spotted the broken guardrail and then saw the vehicle and called for emergency help.