First publishedin World Highways
Floods of ducks – image courtesy of World Highways reader John Brett
A rider amongst a group of cyclists on a training run in Australia had a rather unpleasant experience. The man was cycling along a road with his team mates when a young kangaroo jumped out from the road side and collided with him, knocking him from his bicycle. Although he was riding at speed at the time, he was not seriously hurt and as one of his team mates filmed the incident, will have video footage to better remember the incident by. The feelings of the kangaroo over the incident were not recorded.
A curious incident occurred in the Canadian city of Edmonton recently, involving the occupants of a BMW and which resulted in police having to be called. The incident involved an alleged kidnapping, in which two adults and a baby were abducted. The male abductee had been forced into the boot of the car but somehow managed to escape, followed shortly after by the woman abductee, along with the baby. At this point the escapees were spotted by another driver who realised that the two adults had bare feet and given the freezing conditions, he stopped his pick-up truck and offered to give them a lift. As the escapees were getting into the truck, the vehicle was rammed deliberately by the driver at the wheel of the BMW. The force of the impact pushed the truck into a ditch, however the BMW was also damaged and was unable to move. Luckily the man with the pick-up truck was able to call the police, who arrived quickly at the scene. The five occupants of the BMW, who were all naked, were made to exit their car and were arrested. Two were minors and were later released. One of the BMW occupants however, a woman, resisted arrest and had to be subdued. The police said that drugs and alcohol use may have been a factor in the behaviour of the man and two women adults arrested. The abductees were unharmed physically during the incident and according to police reports the victims and the perpetrators were known to each other.
A collection of toy cars was sold at auction for a record sum recently. The collection of Dinky and Matchbox cars had been amassed by a single enthusiast. He had preserved the toys in pristine condition along with their original boxes, and started collecting rather than playing with the cars as a child. The 1,200 items sold for over £100,000 at auction, with one alone selling for £1,440.
A group of tourists in Australia found out to their consternation that the area where they had parked their vehicle for the night was in the middle of a flood zone. The men woke up as water engulfed their van, decorated as the Mystery Machine from the popular cartoon, Scooby Doo. With the engine flooded, the men scrambled onto the roof of the marooned van to keep themselves dry. However as the three young English men quickly found out, the area was infested with crocodiles, warning signs for which they had either not seen or ignored as they entered the area. Luckily they were soon spotted and rescued, along with their waterlogged vehicle, before encountering one of the potentially deadly crocodiles.
UNDER THE INFLUENCE
A loophole exists in UK law that permits pleas of exceptional hardship for those caught drink-driving. One businessman tried to use this approach in court after being caught over the limit for alcohol. He claimed that as his daughter is a keen horse rider it would be a hardship for him to lose his licence as he would no longer be able to take her to horse riding events. The judge banned him from driving for six months.
Meanwhile a woman caught drink-driving in the UK claimed that she had to retain her licence as her driveway is so long. She was also banned.
An unusual highway hazard was the result of a crash in Texas, when a truck carrying avocados spilled its load into the roadway. 18tonnes of the avocados were spread across the roadway, causing many comments about guacamole on the asphalt. The incident caused serious delays while highway workers had to clear up the mess.
An Irishman took up cycling after a heart attack, brought on by lack of exercise and poor health. His wife was delighted that he started taking more care over his health and encouraged him when he bought an expensive road bike and started heading out of the family home at the weekend to ride. However she was rather less than impressed when she discovered that his weekend rides ended up at a pub a short distance away, where he would sit drinking beer.
A woman in the UK spotted her ex-partner riding a new motorcycle and this enraged her as he owed her money. In a fit of temper she used her car to try and block his progress, succeeding instead in knocking him off the bike and into the road. She later pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, avoiding a custodial sentence as she said she had not intended to cause the crash. Instead of jail time she was sentenced to carry out 180 hours of community work, as well as being fined and banned from driving for 15 months. The bike was completely wrecked and its rider suffered injuries to his knee.
A UK couple received an unwelcome surprise when they picked up their car from the airport parking service on their return from a short vacation. During their five-day stay with family in Slovakia, the car’s trip meter showed it had mysteriously clocked an additional 200km. The owner then checked the car’s onboard camera and discovered that the vehicle had been used repeatedly to pick up and drop off drivers, as well as being left parked in an insecure location. After complaining to the parking firm, it was discovered that two of the company’s drivers had been driving around in the car for their own use, unaware that the dash cam was operational. The firm paid for the car to be cleaned and to have the wheels balanced, as well as sacking the two drivers who had made unauthorised use of the vehicle.