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First publishedin World Highways
April 2019
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Some drivers have a laissez faire approach to parking their vehicles – image courtesy of Kestutis Rusas
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NOT GONE IN 60 SECONDS
A bungling young car thief in Norway found one vehicle too tempting, and also too difficult for his (lack of) skills. The man managed to break into a Volvo saloon but then discovered to his horror that not only was he unable to start it, he was also unable to get out of it. The car’s smart central locking system was too advanced for him. So admitting defeat, he used his cellphone to call the local police to come and rescue him. The officers duly came to his assistance and freed him from the vehicle, before charging him with the attempted theft.

STOP THIEF
Police in the UK are trying to trace a man seen walking away with some blue lights, which were stolen from a police car parked outside a railway station. Officers have not accused the man of the actual theft but say he could help them with their enquiries. Quite what anyone would want to do with the lights from a police car is unclear.

PLANE DRIVING
A trainee pilot in the US was making a state-to-state journey by aeroplane to visit his family when the aircraft suffered engine trouble. Seeing a large highway close by, the pilot managed to keep the Cessna airborne long enough to reach Interstate 20, then landed successfully, also avoiding any of the vehicles using
the route. As the aircraft came to a halt, he opened the door and jumped from the Cessna so that he could urinate by the roadside. The drama of the incident was caught on video by a passing vehicle occupant, who also continued recording as the pilot relieved himself at the roadside.

BAD HABITS?
Monks in Japan recently started a protest after one of their own was stopped by police for driving while wearing traditional clothing. The charges were that the monk’s attire was not safe for driving. Immediately after, Japan’s monks began posting a series of videos online showing them carrying out such activities as skateboarding, fencing with light sabres, juggling, cycling and skipping, all in compete safety, and all the while wearing traditional attire. The monk in question also said he had been driving for 20 years and had never had a crash.

STEEPEST SLOPE
A town in Wales has been competing with the city of Dunedin in New Zealand over which has the steepest street. Both claim to have the steepest streets that can be used by motor vehicles. Baldwin Street in Dunedin was given the Guinness Book of World Records accolade as having the steepest gradient of any at 35%, however, residents in the North Wales town of Harlech have claimed that the street of Ffordd Pen Llech is actually steeper at 36.3%. It is worth noting that current photographs reveal both streets to have poor surfaces. Quite how an asphalt paver and asphalt trucks would negotiate the streets is open to question.

SIGN SAFETY
A woman in Melbourne was lucky to escape serious injury when driving along a major highway. A gantry sign fell onto her car, crushing the roof. The incident was captured on the dashcam of the vehicle following behind. Luckily the car’s structure protected the driver sufficiently for her to escape massive injuries. She was taken to hospital but is expected to recover. The cause of the incident has not so far been revealed but an investigation has been carried out.

MOTORWAY SLIP
Police in Scotland recently stopped a man who was stumbling along the hard shoulder of a motorway. The officers quickly realised he was drunk due to the smell of alcohol on his breath and his slurred speech. The man had abandoned his car after it broke down on the motorway stretch, due to problems with the clutch. He was breathalysed and found to be several times over the limit for alcohol and was charged accordingly. He subsequently lost his licence for 18 months.

OH DEER
A cyclist riding down a descent near Tucson, Arizona suffered a nasty spill recently. Crouched low over the bars, the cyclist was unable to avoid a deer that bounded out from the undergrowth by the side of the road. The cyclist was catapulted from his bicycle, suffering a broken foot and road rash after sliding along the road surface. His bicycle meanwhile bounced end over end to the side of the road. After the incident, the deer bounded off into the brush and has not since been available for comment.

SWANS WAY
Traffic on the UK’s busy M3 motorway was disrupted recently by a pair of swans. The two birds ignored the fast flowing traffic to cross the road. Emergency services rushed to the scene to provide assistance as the two birds were halted by the centre lane barrier. One of the swans had an injury and was unable to fly, which is why the birds were walking across the route. The birds were removed from the motorway by a specialist swan rescue team without further injury and taken to a more suitable riverside location. Meanwhile commuters in Glasgow suffered delays recently due to the presence of a swan on the M8 motorway. Police officers quickly appeared at the scene and stopped their car in one lane to protect the bird from the traffic. However, the stubborn swan proved somewhat reluctant to depart from the roadway. Eventually, they were able to persuade the bird to exit from the motorway.

BLOCK PARTY
A group of enthusiasts in Germany used around 400,000 LEGO blocks to construct a full-sized model of a VW T2 camper bus recently. The model weighs around 700kg and was displayed at a trade fair event in Munich, having taken six weeks to construct. The team managed this in the tight timeframe, despite a shortage of some 20,000 transparent blocks for the windows, by working into the night. Measuring 5m long by 2.9m wide, the model also features the lift up top of the camper and is around 2m high when in the down position and nearly 3m high when it is fully unfolded.

DRUNK IN CHARGE
A man in the UK was banned from driving recently after crashing his car in a construction zone. Officers were called to the scene after the crash, finding the car with severe damage after colliding with a construction machine in a work zone. The driver had abandoned his vehicle and run away. He was later traced and tests showed he was three times over the limit for alcohol. The man was banned from driving for 46 months and fined heavily, as well as being jailed for eight months.


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