No good, very bad decisions

We all make mistakes, some bigger than others.

Roads Report Article January 03, 2018
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David Matthews

Changing lanes

Nothing ruins a perfectly good morning quite like a traffic jam. They’re frustrating and stressful, and studies show that over time, they can even take a toll on your health.  


Most commuters accept congestion as a fact of urban living, but one man in China decided to take action.


While inching through a bottleneck at the same intersection in the city of Lianyungang day after day, the 28-year-old man noticed that the left-turn lane was always empty.


So this past September, he brought paint, a brush and a ruler to the problematic intersection. Photos show him kneeling down in the turn lane in broad daylight and painting a straight-ahead arrow onto the turn arrow.


Unfortunately those photos were taken by a security camera. The man was given a fine, his handiwork was erased, and worst of all, he’s once again stuck in the same morning bottleneck.


Make up your mind

Chandra Bourelle took a less decisive approach to upgrading her driving experience last fall, taking possession of four different cars in a single day, and swapping each for progressively better makes and models.


Bourelle’s day didn’t seem like it would turn out to be so productive after she was arrested in the morning trying to steal a Mazda pickup truck at a convenience store. She was quickly apprehended by police, booked and let go after she posted bail.


Within an hour, Bourelle had stolen a second car, a Toyota Highlander, from a nearby gas station.


Unfortunately, the Highlander didn’t fit Bourelle’s tastes, so she ditched it 25 miles away at a swanky spa and golf resort, and instead drove away in an employee’s red Lexus.


The Lexus wasn’t quite right either, so Bourelle rolled into the parking lot of a nearby luxury inn and upgraded to her fourth car of the day, a new BMW.


Finally satisfied, Bourelle decided to head back home, but she was spotted by police. A high-speed pursuit followed, ending with Bourelle spinning out of control in the BMW and nearly crashing into a flatbed tow truck.


She was arrested at the scene and this time denied bail.


Ironically, the tow truck that Bourelle nearly hit was transporting the Highlander that she had stolen earlier in the day.


Don’t toot your own horn

Meanwhile in St. Louis, Scott Smith’s bad decisions landed him in hot water with police even though he didn’t actually break any laws.


Smith was returning to work from a lunch break when he had to stop at a red light. But then when it turned green, the car ahead of him didn’t move.


Smith tapped his horn and the other car rolled forward a bit before coming to an abrupt stop. Smith honked again and saw the driver throw his arms in the air, but the car only moved forward a couple of feet.


Running late and low on patience, Smith really laid on his horn as the other car inched through the intersection and then pulled into the left lane.


As Smith drove past, the other vehicle turned on its flashing lights, and only then did Smith realize that he had been honking at a police officer in an unmarked car. And the officer was not amused.


When the irate officer approached Smith’s car, the exchange between the two was filled with so many profanities that we can only share this cleaned-up version:    


Officer: Might there be a problem with your horn?

Smith: I don’t believe so, but perhaps your brake is in need of repair.

Officer: I’m quite certain that’s not the case, but I am concerned that your horn may be malfunctioning, so I’m going to write you a traffic violation notice.

Smith: This is utterly preposterous. I did nothing unlawful.

Officer: It may take a while to prepare this decree. I am sincerely sorry that you will now have to wait even longer at this intersection, as I can see that your intelligence rivals that of a donkey.


Eventually three more officers arrived on the scene and discussed the matter at length with the first officer. Finally after 45 minutes, Smith was allowed to return to work.


But thanks to a broken printer in the police car, Smith’s ticket is being mailed out, which means he’ll have to continue waiting even longer—this time, to find out what exactly he did wrong.


About the author: 
Matthews has been chronicling the unexpectedly humorous side of transportation news since 2000. The stories are all true.
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