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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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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...
  Road trippin’ According to a recent Harris Interactive survey, you took more than one road trip this summer—2.7 to be precise.   Harris also found that your top five road trip destinations this summer were beach locations (38%), city centers (27%), rural locations (23%), national/state parks (23...
Citizen patrolThe small town of Valley Falls, Kan., thought they had a groundbreaking plan to better patrol their downtown on a tight budget. In April, the city established a police auxiliary program consisting of civilian volunteers who would patrol the streets in actual police cruisers and keep...
Driving businessThe fashion world has always moved fast, but now it’s on four wheels and headed for a street corner near you. The latest trend in fashion is the mobile boutique. After all, if you can sell tacos and ice cream from a converted shipping truck, then why not clothing and jewelry? Mobile...
Driving out of focus Despite stricter laws, distracted driving still accounts for 80% of all traffic accidents in the U.S. However, new research suggests that it isn’t gadgets that are stealing our attention; it’s the other occupants in the car. For example, a recent Australian study reports that...
Promoting safety at 200 mphDid you see the Florida Department of Transportation’s safety promotion on driver Joe Nemechek’s car during the Daytona 500? No? Perhaps it was because Nemechek finished in 18th place. Or maybe you were distracted by the huge crash that injured 28 fans in the grandstand....
Better safe than sorrySome people go to great lengths to protect their car, investing in the latest technology like remote kill switches and GPS tracking systems. (Remember when all we needed was the Club?) Now comes a uniquely lo-fi solution from a 20-year-old man in Chicago who just clamps a...
A blast from the pastRemember 1989? That was the year that Taylor Swift was born and George H. W. Bush became President, and when we weren’t watching “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” on VHS or blasting a Milli Vanilli cassette tape, we were glued to the Exxon Valdez oil spill and the...

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