Skidmarks: Scaring speeders

Our Skidmarks page is highly rated by readers. Your input could help make this page even more entertaining. If you come across any amusing road-related stories or pictures email me at
February 6, 2020 4 mins Read
Skidscake: Having a break with cake traditions…
Skidscake: Having a break with cake traditions…

Drivers using a stretch of road in the UK city of Liverpool are being scared into reducing their speed, by a scarecrow. Dressed in high visibility gear and featuring the head from a dummy, the scarecrow is equipped with what appears to be a speed camera from a distance. However those looking more closely realised that the device is in fact a plastic bottle covered in metal foil. The scarecrow was installed by local authorities, concerned at the high rate of crashes on the route. Since this was installed, speeding has been reduced considerably on the busy road.

A Belgian woman was lucky to survive a recent car crash. The woman’s car left the road and ended up in a ditch in a comparatively remote area of Belgium. Nobody noticed the car for six days and the injuries she suffered from the crash meant she was unable get out of the vehicle. Because of the hot weather at the time, she was in a tight spot indeed but then rain began falling and by pushing open one of the doors with her feet, she was able to collect sufficient rainwater to survive using a box that had contained chewing gum. Although her friends and family called her cellphone repeatedly, it was out of reach and eventually the battery ran flat. She had been seen a short while before the crash at a service station and her phone had also given a location trace so searchers concentrated on that area, locating her after six days. She was taken to hospital for treatment for her injuries and is expected to recover.

Police in Australia recently stopped a Mitsubishi SUV being driven by a youngster. The vehicle had been taken without permission by the 13-year old and driven some 1,000km from the family home in just two days. Children aged 10-14 were inside the vehicle and they had taken a number of fishing rods and other fishing equipment with them for the journey. However they had not taken sufficient cash as they had driven off without paying when stopping for fuel on more than one occasion.

A pensioner in the UK recently showed exactly why drinking and driving can be so dangerous. The man was driving along the M6 motorway when for some unexplained reason, he decided to make a U-turn and head back in the opposite direction. Dashcam footage from other drivers showed the man weaving through oncoming traffic. When police arrived they found that the man had already stopped his car in the central reservation. He was and found to have a blood alcohol level twice that of the legal limit and given an eight-month prison sentence along with a two-year driving ban.

Users of a payment machine on a tolled highway in the US had a welcome surprise when it started spitting out coins instead of taking money. Located on the Kansas Turnpike, the machine was repaired quickly. However, several drivers benefited from the faulty device. As the toll authority mistakenly sent out a text alert about the problem, it seems likely that there was an increase in drivers using the Turnpike before repairs could be made.

A young driving offender in Sydney, Australia alerted police to his presence in a rather unexpected manner. He seemingly took fright at the sight of the police station he was passing and crashed his van into a police cruiser parked outside. The driver sped off from the scene of the incident but was stopped nearby soon after. A quick search of the vehicle revealed why the man was so nervous and also so keen to get away. Officers found an estimated US$125 million worth of methylamphetamine (nicknamed ice) in the van. He was charged with various drugs offences as well as driving violations.

A model has discovered that wearing high heels while driving a high-performance car is perhaps not the most sensible thing to do. The Serbian model was driving a blue Lamborghini convertible along a stretch of road in the French Riviera. She explained that her foot then missed the brake pedal because of her high heeled shoes, with the result that the car plunged into a swimming pool. The woman was unhurt and the car sustained comparatively minor damage.

In Washington State in the US, a police officer was witness to a very close call with an aircraft. He explained that he was driving along State Route 7 when he saw an aircraft heading towards the road. At first he thought the aircraft was a radio controlled model but as it came closer, he realised it was the real thing and in trouble. The aeroplane passed right by him, landing on the roadway and then slithering along the road as its pilot fought to bring it to a halt safely. This was all recorded on the officer’s dashcam as he made a sharp U-turn to pursue the aircraft and somehow the pilot managed to avoid hitting any cars. No-one was injured in the incident and the aircraft itself suffered only minor damage from its forced landing.

A woman cyclist riding the South Klondike Highway in Canada claims to have hit an all-time personal best for speed while avoiding the attentions of a grizzly bear. She was cycling along the highway on an uphill slope when she realised that the bear was just a short distance ahead. Thinking quickly, she turned around and started to pedal quickly downhill and realised to her horror that the bear was now in hot pursuit. At this point a vehicle happened by and it driver realised what was happening, placing the van in between the rider and the bear. The driver followed the cyclist closely until the bear turned off the road and loped away into the forest once more. A similar incident occurred in the province of Alberta a number of years ago when a cyclist climbing a hill was followed by a bear. A pick-up driver spotted what was happening and placed his vehicle in between the bear and the cyclist, until the animal decided that it might find easier prey elsewhere.

When one cyclist turned up for the World Naked Bike Ride in New Orleans, he caused some concern amongst other riders. One of the marshalls noticed that the man, while naked and on a bicycle, was carrying a handgun and a rifle. The marshall spoke to the man and asked him to leave the weapons locked in his car for safe keeping during the event. Officers later arrested a man for firearms offences. Being bare does not sit well with the right to bear arms it seems.