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Sheep in the city

First publishedin World Highways
January February 2019
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Photo of the month - Poetry in a road sign in Canada
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Christmas follies

Christmas congestion was caused in Cambridgeshire due to an errant Santa. Traffic was forced to halt on a busy stretch of road in the town of Wisbech after an inflatable Santa was blown from the house where it had been secured. The giant Santa inflatable came to rest on Cromwell road, lying on its side and appearing to wave drunkenly at vehicles passing in the opposite lane. Two men then managed to remove the giant inflatable from the roadway, allowing vehicles to pass.

And an overzealous police officer in Australia fined a Santa taking part in a festive parade for not wearing a seatbelt. The Santa was riding on a sleigh-shaped float that comprised part of the parade.

Meanwhile officers from Devon & Cornwall police took action to halt an overloaded van spotted on the busy A38 route. A massive Christmas tree, nearly twice the length of the vehicle, had been strapped to the van’s roof. The driver was charged with a number of offences.

And in the UK town of Torquay, a couple had an alternative answer to Christmas Dinner. The two served up a meal comprised of roadkill. One of the pair had scoured the nearby roads to source all the dead animals, then butchered these himself. They said that marinating the meat in milk helps add to the favour. The pair have in fact been supplementing their diet using roadkill for some years, claiming that this is both environmentally friendly and an efficient use of resources, as well as being nutritious.

Sheep in the city

Drivers in the Spanish city of Madrid recently faced an unusual traffic hazard. Sheep herders were exercising their right to drive their flocks through the city, a right dating back centuries. Vehicles had to wait as the sheep trotted happily though the city, while tourists feverishly snapped photos of the unusual sight.

Bad ass cyclist

A road rage incident took an unusual turn in Canada recently. An argument between a male cyclist and a female driver hit disgusting depths. The two were arguing over the cause of a collision and the cyclist started getting angrier and angrier, with him then bashing his bicycle against the car. Perhaps unable to express his emotions fully in words, the cyclist defecated in the street and then threw his faeces at the woman, before pedalling away from the scene of the incident. Police are still investigating although the identity of the cyclist has not yet been uncovered. Evidence found at the scene is being examined carefully for clues.

Tolling trick

A driver in Florida repeatedly used an electronic device to prevent highway tolling technology from spotting the licence plates on his vehicle. Every time the man passed a tolling reader, he ensured the device was switched on.  The driver, aged 70, was stopped by the Florida Highway Patrol who became suspicious of the vehicle. The man may have thought his remotely controlled electronic device would save him money, but instead it has resulted in heavy fines.

A village for speeder?

Residents in an Italian village near the French border have become so fed up with road users speeding that they have opted to deal with the matter directly. The residents had a speed camera installed on a temporary basis and in just two weeks during September 2018, the device recorded 58,658 separate offences of speeding. The village has a 50km/h limit but that did not deter one road user in particular, who was clocked at 135km/h. Around 33% of drivers passing through the village were speeding to some extent according to the data from the camera. The state highway SS28 runs through the village and is a key route linking Italy’s Piedmont Region with the country’s northern coast. Because the route has many twists and turns and a good surface condition, it is a favourite of motorcyclists in the area, who often use the road as a stretch on which to develop handling skills. Having proven the camera’s worth, the local authorities are now ensuring that it will be installed permanently in the village, albeit at a slightly different location.

Bucked off cyclist

A cyclist on Canada’s Vancouver Island had a close encounter with a deer recently that knocked her out. The woman had stopped at a junction when the errant male deer leapt from behind a hedgerow, bashing into her. The woman said that the last thing she remembered of the incident was of the animal springing towards her before she then recovered consciousness, lying on the roadway. Officers were called to the scene and informed the woman that the deer was known to the police. The animal was most likely protecting a female and its offspring. The woman suffered a broken shoulder as well as bruising and was less than happy about the incident, calling for deer on the island to be removed to another location.

Rip off

A truck driver in Scotland made a rather embarrassing mistake recently. The man drove his vehicle transporter underneath a bridge with insufficient clearance. This resulted in several of the brand new Range Rover vehicles he was supposed to be delivering to a dealership. The roofs of several of the upmarket cars were ripped off. The dealership did not seem keen to accept the vehicles following their forceful conversion to convertibles. Why the driver had not checked the route to see if it was suitable for his truck and its load is unclear

Grass diet

An American woman had a lucky escape after her vehicle skidded off the road in the state of Arizona during heavy rain. The vehicle fell 15m into a ravine, becoming caught in the branches of a tree and without hitting the ground. The woman was injured in the incident and stayed inside her car for a few days, before trying to find help. She walked a few hundred metres towards a railway line before collapsing. Luckily for her, a rancher and some road workers who were chasing down an escaped cow noticed the damaged guard rail. They looked over and saw the damaged vehicle and decided to climb down in case anyone needed assistance. The men saw the woman’s footprints and followed them until they found her lying in a dried up creek, where she had survived by eating grass and drinking what little water she could find. Realising the extent of her injuries, a helicopter was called and the woman was taken to hospital.

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