Roads Report: The road to perdition

Sept. 26, 2003

In your face

You learn to expect a few things when you drive on one of Germany's autobahns. Flying underpants isn't one of them.

In your face

You learn to expect a few things when you drive on one of Germany's autobahns. Flying underpants isn't one of them.

It seems that back in July, a van full of naked men thought it would be funny to throw their clothing at other vehicles. So as they passed a Volkswagen Passat, one of the men threw his underwear into the car. It wasn't so funny, though, when they landed on the driver's face, blocking his view and causing him to ram into the rear end of the truck ahead of him. (OK, that is pretty funny.)

No one was hurt, but police are still hunting for the naked underpant hurlers.

Go, bar racer!

A man was arrested last month in Reno, Nev., for doing 35 mph. On a bar stool.

Police spotted the 22-year-old on his motorized stool being chased by a woman in a black Mustang. When they were both pulled over, the man explained that he had just purchased the bar stool, complete with 110cc gasoline-powered motor and three wheels, a week before. The woman claimed she recognized the stool as one that had been stolen from her three weeks earlier and wanted it back.

Believe it or not, motorized bar stools are used for more than just racing from your beer to the restroom and back again. It's actually a competitive sport dating back to the '60s. There's even a National Organized Barstool Racing Association you can contact if you're interested in building your own regulation stool.

Tips from the road

If you're caught driving under the influence, try confessing immediately before the police have a chance to run any sobriety tests. Then at your trial, claim your confession is invalid because you were drunk at the time.

It sounds crazy, but that's what a Norwegian man did back in July and he was acquitted. Even though he signed his confession six hours after he was arrested, he claimed it was invalid because he was still intoxicated at the time. A local court cleared him of any charges because police had no other proof that he was drunk.

Tail lights

If you see a trunk on the road in India, it probably isn't a fallen tree or lost luggage.

India's capital city, New Delhi, is home to 30 privately owned elephants that are used to do commercial work. This often involves the elephants' walking alongside traffic at late hours, sometimes in extreme weather conditions.

As a result, accidents occur because drivers don't see the elephants. There have been three accidents involving four elephants in just the last two years. 

So the Wildlife Trust of India has stepped in and provided reflectors for owners to use on their elephants' backsides. One owner said, "Now I am not scared, even if my elephant has to be on the roads at night."

Only as old as you steal

Would you be concerned if you saw a man in his 90s driving a car? You should be if it's J.L. Hunter "Red" Rountree. The 91-year-old Texan was just caught driving away from his third bank robbery in five years.

Red walked into a First American Bank branch in Abilene, Texas, last month and demanded money from a teller. To avoid any confusion, he also passed the teller a large envelope with "ROBBERY" written on it.

With the money in hand, Red took off in his car and headed home. Fortunately, a witness was able to get his license plate number and alert police. They picked up Red just 30 minutes later on U.S. 84. Police said the car was easy to find since it was the only one doing 30 mph on the highway with the left blinker on.

Breaking news

When they talk about "affirmative action" at the Southern Home Improvement Center in Chalmette, La., they're not talking about equal opportunity.

That's because the store is actually owned by the New Christian Crusade Church and is the secret headquarters of the Christian Defense League, a white-supremacist group that publishes and distributes hate literature behind the facade of the home improvement center.

Or at least it was a secret until a motorist lost control of his car, smashed into the brick storefront and came to rest amid stacks of racist books and pamphlets. Police say no one was hurt, due largely to the fact that most of the church members were away protesting the new line of dark-chocolate Hershey's Kisses.

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