First publishedin World Highways
Inflatable snakes, what every driver needs ( image courtesy of World Highways reader Mehrdad Yousefinejhad)
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LET'S GO PARTY
Some friends in the US decided to turn a toy Barbie Mustang car into something rather more entertaining. The men fitted a Honda motorcycle engine and new driveline components, including go-kart tyres. This allowed a top speed of 115km/h, which it could reach in just six seconds, making it rather lively and spirited and also difficult to control. The vehicle is definitely not likely to be made road legal any time soon and nor is a model with a similar performance ever likely to be available from the original toy manufacturer.
A pilot in California had a lucky escape when his aircraft’s engine failed. Thinking quickly, the pilot spotted a road close by and managed to land the aircraft safely. However the road, in an area of Los Angeles, was busy and the aircraft buzzed low over one car as it made its approach. The pilot also managed to avoid numerous overhead powerlines and telephone lines running alongside the road. No one was hurt fortunately but one driver’s dashcam captured the incident, showing how the pilot even managed to halt the aircraft neatly at a junction.
JUST SAY NO
A young driver in the UK has reason to regret his actions, having been charged with driving under the influence of drugs. He tried to escape pursuing police officers but they eventually managed to force him to halt. Tests carried out afterwards showed he had nine times the permitted level of cocaine in his system. He was banned from driving and also charged with not having paid vehicle tax for his truck. Meanwhile, another driver took cocaine to help him get over a break-up with his partner. The man drove at high speed and was soon spotted by officers, who gave chase. While attempting to escape, the driver lost control and crashed into a bar. And, also in the UK, the driver of a Range Rover has earned a rather unfortunate record of 172 points on his licence. The man was clocked speeding no less than 27 times along the same stretch of road. The vehicle was Belgian registered, which made it harder for the police to trace. However officers then spotted the vehicle during a road policing operation and were able to stop the driver. The speeding fines for the driver reached nearly £18,000, while he has been banned from driving for three years.
ROUND AND AROUND?
A rather worrying trend is causing concern for road safety in Norway. It has become fashionable amongst high school students to have sex on roundabouts as part of the graduation celebrations. Quite how this trend developed is unknown. But it has become a relatively common occurrence, so much so that police have reported frequent incidents. In a bid to tackle the problem, Norway’s Public Road Administration recently released a ‘just say no’ campaign, reminding graduates that roundabouts can be dangerous places, especially as such activity in a public place could result in drivers passing by to become distracted. Norway’s Public Road Administration also reminded those graduating students that while driving around in brightly painted vehicles (another graduation ritual with obscure origins) is harmless, doing so while under the influence of alcohol is rather less so.
SELF DRIVING SAFELY?
A man in the UK was banned from driving recently after letting his vehicle take rather too much responsibility. The man had shifted over to sit in the passenger seat, leaving his Tesla vehicle to use its self-driving capabilities while cruising along a busy motorway. A passenger in another car filmed the Tesla’s progress, with the footage later being used as evidence. The technology may be good, but perhaps not that good.
Another British driver meanwhile is regretting enjoying the performance of his Mercedes sports car rather too much. The man was clocked at over 200km/h on the M6 tolled motorway. Given that the maximum speed limit is 120km/h, the size of the fine is likely to be rather large and such excessive speeding also usually results in a driving ban.
A mother in Florida may be a little more careful when she parks her car from now on. The woman got out of her car, inadvertently leaving the handbrake off. It then rolled into a swimming pool, with her husband and child still inside. The car sank quickly but luckily they were able to escape from the vehicle without harm.
Police in Sweden recently stopped a cyclist on an electric bicycle who was travelling rather too fast for the conditions. The rider was hitting 100km/h, somewhat in excess of the posted speed limits. The rider had modified the bicycle using an electric motor 16 times as powerful as is actually allowed. The police were concerned for his safety as well as for other road users as the brakes, frame and running gear had not been designed for such speeds.
A cheetah came rather too close to visitors to a safari park in Tanzania. The curious cat climbed inside the vehicle the tourists were sitting in, chewing seatbacks and sniffing at the roof and other fittings. The visitors filmed the encounter while sitting still and avoiding eye contact with the animal, as advised by their tour guide.
After a few tense moments the curious cheetah loped off of its own accord. The tourists meanwhile learned a valuable lesson not to leave windows open when travelling in a vehicle through a safari park.
Police recently had to escort a cyclist off the busy M1 motorway in the UK for his own safety. Officers used a 50km/h rolling roadblock method to protect the cyclist until he could be escorted off the mtorway at the next exit. The rider had taken to the motorway close to the city of Sheffield and was apparently keen to cycle to London using the M1 as it was the quickest and most direct route. However, cycling on motorways is forbidden in the UK. Meanwhile in Manchester, police recently had to deal with three separate incidents concerning cyclists on motorway stretches. One rider took a hire bike on the M60 motorway, while other riders were stopped for their own safety on the M61 and M56.