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Learning record

First publishedin World Highways
March 2019
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A notice going unnoticed - image courtesy of World Highways reader Mike Hughes

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 mwoof@ropl.com

A young driver in Germany managed to be banned from driving a mere 49 minutes after passing his test. Perhaps in jubilation at having passed the test, and no longer having to rely on his friends or ‘dad’s taxi' for transport, the 18 year-old driver inadvisedly pressed pedal to metal. Officers in the town of Hemer, near Dortmund, used a laser unit to determine the vehicle’s speed, seeing that it was travelling at 95km/h in a 50km/h zone. Perhaps he was trying to show his driving skills to his four accompanying friends, but instead was fined, banned from driving for four weeks and will only be allowed his licence again after extensive retraining, which will not come cheap. In addition, the probationary period will be extended from two years to four.

In the US state of Iowa, a woman managed to trigger the ire of her husband after she reversed her car into his. The man was reversing his pick-up truck out of the couple’s driveway when he stopped to wait because of passing traffic. The woman meanwhile backed up in her Toyota Prius and assuming that her husband had already driven away, only stopped when her vehicle struck his. He was reportedly rather less than pleased. Exactly what she has put on her insurance claim about the incident remains unknown.

An enthusiastic football (soccer) fan in Vietnam may be rather more careful in future after damaging his expensive car during a misconceived celebration. Following a match that saw the Vietnamese football team beat that of the Philippines, the man drove his Lamborghini along a busy road, revving his car excessively. Unburnt fuel was vented out of the car’s exhausts, which eventually set the rear of the vehicle on fire. The driver leapt from his sports car and attempted to put the fire out by kicking at it before other road users came to his assistance, using pieces of material to beat out the flames. Eventually the fire subsided but not before the rear of the car was damaged by the flames.

In Texas, a minor traffic shunt quickly escalated into a rather more serious incident. When a Dodge saloon car crunched into the back of a pick-up truck at an intersection, the driver of the latter got out to inspect the damage to the rear of his vehicle. The driver of the Dodge however decided he did not wish to stop and exchange details, and hit the gas. In a bid to avoid being knocked over, the pick-up driver jumped onto the front of the car. The driver of the Dodge roared off, with the other driver now clinging to the front of the car in terror. The pick-up driver said that as the Dodge raced away, he looked at the other man and pleaded with him to stop. He said that the other man simply shook his head and carried on regardless. After reaching speeds of up to 80km/h, the Dodge driver was slowed by other vehicles, whose drivers had seen the incident and tried deliberately to slow it down. The Dodge then turned into a fuel station and the pick-up driver was able to jump free, with the driver of the car then attempting to flee. But the other drivers blocked the way, forcing the Dodge to a halt. The driver of the Dodge was found to be drunk and was charged with DUI as well as a series of other offences.

In the UK a drunk-driver managed the unlikely feat of crashing his vehicle into a police station. The incident happened in a town close to the city of Manchester. Officers were rather bemused at the incident, unsure as to how the driver could have been so drunk to mistake a police station for a stretch of open road. The man was charged with drink-driving as well as for being uninsured.

A woman driver in Florida will be regretting her actions following a recent incident at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. For reasons unknown, the woman smashed her car through the perimeter fence surrounding the airport, setting off a security alarm, and then proceeded to drive her vehicle around the facility for some minutes. Her vehicle struck the tail of an aircraft belonging to a flight school, causing some US$15,000 worth of damage. She then smashed her car through the perimeter fence again, escaping from the facility. However, police officers managed to stop the vehicle and test the woman for alcohol use; the results showed that her blood alcohol level was nearly twice the permitted amount for drivers in the state. In her car was an open container of wine although the woman claimed she had only had one glass, something the test results showed to be unlikely. Officers said that she also was under the impression she was in the state of Ohio rather than Florida, although how she thought this would have explained her behaviour is unclear. Luckily, no-one was hurt in the incident.

Thieves in Australia borrowed a midi excavator to smash down the front of a bank. The pair managed to batter their way into the building and then stole money from cashboxes. They also used the excavator to steal an ATM machine from the building. The men abandoned the excavator after using it to load the ATM machine into the back of their pick-up truck and making off with their haul.

In a small German town, firefighters were called to the rescue when production from a chocolate factory went out of control. Chocolate flooded out of the factory building and into the street, blocking the road. The 25 firefighters were then assisted in the clean-up operation by a team from a specialist company, with a telehandler fitted with a bucket also having been used for the work. The firefighters and clean-up crew had to break up the chocolate and also remove it from drains, which had become blocked.

A group of motorcyclists came to a halt at a pedestrian crossing in the UK recently. The rider in front had spotted an elderly woman waiting to cross and as he stopped, the other riders pulled up behind him. The rider then flicked down his sidestand and parked the bike in the middle of the road, before taking the arm of the woman and helping her to cross. He then strolled back to his bike, jumped on it and the riders roared off. Their behaviour contrasted rather strongly with that of the numerous car drivers who had simply driven past, leaving the woman patiently waiting for a knight on a shining steed to offer assistance.

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