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David Matthews

David Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news for his Roads Report column since 2000. The stories are all true.

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On the rocks A road construction project in Iceland has been held up for over a year by the Supreme Court after protestors warned that it would disturb the elves living in its path.   The road was to provide a direct route from the Alf-tanes penin-sula (where, coincidentally, Iceland’s pres-i-dent...
Aww, jeez Hockey, alcohol, a Zamboni and the police—all the makings of a typical winter Friday night in Fargo, N.D.    But this was no NHL game, or even a Coen brothers’ movie. This was a high school girls’ hockey game, and Steve Anderson, part-time Zamboni driver for the Fargo Park District, had...
A likely story Not much compares to the sinking feeling in your stomach when you see the flashing lights of a patrol car in your rearview mirror and realize you’ve been caught speeding.   How much will the ticket cost? How much is my insurance going to go up? Where the heck is my registration?!  ...
Getting the boot If you’re an officer trying to enforce parking laws outside an audition for a show called “Bad Girls Club,” you have to know your day isn’t going to go smoothly. Sure enough, this past December a would-be contestant for the long-running Oxygen TV reality show exited the audition...
The fire-breathing school bus Kids in Indianapolis no longer have an excuse to be late for school now that adrenaline junkie Paul Stender has created a jet-powered school bus.  Equipped with a 42,000-hp fighter jet engine and an exhaust that shoots out 80-ft flames, the “School Time” can reach...
  The future is now The Jetsons might possibly be the most influential TV show that only aired for one season.  Debuting in 1962 as a primetime spin-off to The Flintstones, the show was canceled after just 24 episodes. While two more seasons were produced in the mid-80s followed by TV specials and...
Singing road   The state of New Mexico is teaming up with National Geographic to make speeders sing a different tune. On a stretch of historic Rte. 66 between Albuquerque and Tijeras, drivers who obey the posted speed limit will now be serenaded with “America the Beautiful.”   The effect is...
Trip the lights fantastic   As we’ve learned from the recent Hollywood nude photo scandal, any kind of digital device can be hacked. With all the technology integrated into modern transportation, hacking may soon become a reality for drivers as well. And not just the naked ones.   For example,...
The best laid plans   One man’s attempt to get out of a traffic ticket may land him in jail for five years.   Julius Lupowitz was driving through West Melbourne, Fla., this past July when he was pulled over for speeding. While the officer was preparing his ticket, Lupowitz came up with a...
Here’s to your health   The luck of the Irish was with a 22-year-old Bronx woman who survived being run over by three Manhattan subway trains this past spring and walked away with only an injured shoulder.   According to authorities, Mary Downey, a native of Belfast, staggered into the Midtown...
Right to free speech   This month we celebrate our independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain some 238 years ago, as well as the rights and freedoms that independence affords us.   One of the rights that we hold most dear is the freedom of expression, and a recent survey shows that many of us...
Leap of faith What better way to celebrate dad this year than to re-create his all-time favorite TV show on the crumbling bridges of South Carolina? That’s what a man was forced to do recently when a bridge he was crossing near Charleston began to cave in. When a 15-ft section of the bridge in...
Food truck in bad tasteA Korean food truck is stirring up controversy in San Antonio, Texas, because of its name: CockAsian. Candie Yoder, 40, purchased the truck last November and planned to turn it into a mobile restaurant specializing in spicy Korean fried chicken. Given the Asian-fusion fare...
Winter driving could be worseAfter a winter of bone-chilling temperatures and record snowfalls that threatened to shut down the Super Bowl and the entire city of Atlanta, spring is finally on the way. But according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), don’t expect...
Wham bam thank you ma’amFebruary may be the month of love, but no one wants to see your public displays of affection, particularly behind the wheel. Take it from these guys who had to learn the hard way.In May Luis Briones was spotted driving down a busy Albuquerque, N.M., street with a naked woman...
Taking a shot at ending chasesEveryone loves a good car chase . . . in the movies. Real-life chases, like the one this past fall near the U.S. Capitol, can be deadly. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that on average in the U.S., one person dies every day in a...
Stress testA recent study by Audi and MIT found that driving can be one of the most stressful activities in our day. MIT designed a series of experiments that measure stress levels associated with various activities. When the results were compared, researchers found that driving can be just as...
What’s in a name?When your last name is 36 letters long, you’re used to it being misspelled and mispronounced. But this summer the state of Hawaii told Janice Keihanaikukauakahihuliheekahaunaele that her name is too long to fit on a drivers license and that she might consider changing it. For the...
Self masteryCancel the Australian walkabout. If you really want to get to know yourself, just take a close look at what and how you drive. For example, if you have a lead foot, you’re likely a fan of either heavy metal music or talk radio. A new survey by the Canadian insurance comparison site...
Water rideGerman police usually don’t take notice of four men cruising through town in a convertible on a warm Sunday afternoon. However, when the vehicle those men are driving has been converted into a mobile swimming pool, well, that’s another story. In June, a motorcycle cop on patrol in the...

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