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The hanging Honda

First publishedin World Highways
June 2018
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Some passengers are just dying to drive

Police in Toronto are still mystified as to how and why a stripped-out Honda was left dangling from a busy bridge. At first it was thought the car had been placed there as part of a movie shoot, but it was quickly realised that this was not the case and no request had been filed to carry out such a stunt. The car was stripped of any identification as well as many mechanical components, reducing its weight sufficiently for it to be suspended from a single cable. After a period left hanging, the vehicle was lowered to the ground by a team of highway workers. It is assumed to have been some kind of prank, possibly by students. Such pranks have been carried out by students before. In the 1970s for example, engineering students rented a crane and placed an ageing Ford Anglia on top of a city’s cathedral. This incident later humorously referred to in a popular book for children by a Scottish-based writer with a sub-plot involving a flying Ford Anglia that lands on cathedrals.

A Lamborghini Huracan recently attracted a rather special price when sold at auction. The car sold for £615,000, around four times its original pricetag. The reason that the Lamborghini was so highly valued was because it had been owned by the Pope, having been gifted to him the previous year. The money gained from the sale was given to various charities.

A man in the UK became so fed up with drivers speeding through the small village where he lives that he took drastic action. He made a replica speed camera out of a box, which he painted yellow and mounted on top of a section of scaffolding. A reflective beermat was located on the box, to replicate the camera system. Since he installed the replica speed camera on his land, he says that drivers passing through the village now slow down rather than heading through at up to twice the speed limit. His neighbours are also delighted with this, saying that it will improve safety in the village.

That was the question facing a beekeeper in the US state of North Carolina recently. The man was offered three hives complete with bees at the tempting price of US$165 apiece. However, how to get the three hives to his home safely was the challenge. He couldn’t simply load them into the rear of his pick-up truck, as the bees would likely disperse as he drove, a potential cause of danger for other road users and also resulting in the loss of a portion of the bees he had purchased. Instead, he opted to load all three hives into the cab of his truck and then headed home. Of course the bees soon started buzzing around inside the cab. But unperturbed, the man drove on regardless, even filming himself with his phone as he stopped in traffic. Despite being surrounded by thousands of bees, he was not stung once. It is not clear however whether traffic officers took action for him using his phone while behind the wheel of his truck. Nor is it clear how traffic officers view the open transportation of bees inside a vehicle.

A motorist in Belgium received a rather surprising letter from the police. It claimed that his Opel Astra had been clocked at 696km/h, while driving through a town close to the border with France. Somewhat bemused, the man queried the speed recorded, as 696km/h is rather quicker than a mundane family saloon like an Opel Astra is able to achieve, even when heavily modified. For that matter, the speed is also around twice as fast as can be achieved by a costly hypercar like a Bugatti Veyron. It then transpired that the police had indeed made a mistake and that the car had actually been clocked at 60km/h. As the speed limit for the area was 50km/h the driver was still fined, though rather less than had the car indeed been travelling at 696km/h.
A truck crash in Poland recently resulted in a large area being covered in chocolate after the vehicle’s load spilled onto the roadway. The 12tonne load of liquid chocolate then began to solidify, blocking the busy A2 highway and resulting in long delays for drivers. Hot water had to be used to wash away the chocolate, which unfortunately proved rather difficult to remove and to make matters worse, was no longer fit for human consumption. Luckily the crash happened early in the morning and no other vehicles were involved, while the driver suffered only minor injuries.

A vehicle owner in China has found out to his loss that allowing a dog to drive is not advisable. The person had left his three wheeled pick-up truck unattended with the engine running. The owner’s dog was however keeping guard on the vehicle, sitting in the front. The curious dog managed to accidentally set the vehicle in motion and it then smashed through a shop window. Luckily no one was injured in the incident, the dog included.

Research suggests that one in eight male car owners have a pet name for their vehicles. A report was commissioned by a vehicle leasing firm in the UK, which said that those males who do name their vehicles are frequently influenced by its colour. Quite why people feel the need to name their cars was not revealed however.

An unusual highway hazard was the result of a crash in Texas, when a truck carrying avocados spilled its load into the roadway. In all, 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.

A driver in Florida found out exactly why texting at the wheel is every bit as stupid and dangerous as he has been told. The man drove his car into the rear of a parked Florida Highway Patrol vehicle. No one was hurt in the crash luckily but the driver concerned was charged with inattentive driving and for not having vehicle insurance. The police officer had stopped to deal with an earlier, but rather more conventional, crash between two other cars.

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