A load of rubbish
Police in Scotland are trying to put the squeeze on unlicensed drivers—literally.
If you’re caught driving without a valid driver’s license or proof of insurance in Scotland, the police can now have your car crushed at a scrap yard.
According to a new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, a police officer can request to see all required driving documents if he or she has “reasonable cause” to believe the driver is unlicensed or uninsured. If the documents cannot be produced, the officer can then issue a seizure notice on the spot. If the driver cannot produce valid documents in the next seven days, his or her vehicle can be flattened or condensed into a small cube.
The authorities justify this by pointing to recent studies that indicate 5% of all drivers are uninsured, and 30% of young drivers have driven without insurance at one time. These uninsured drivers are six times more likely to drive an unroadworthy vehicle and up to nine times more likely to be involved in an accident. If you believe “studies.”
Is that the police or Uncle Russ?
Police in Mount Pleasant, S.C., have upped the ante in the war on speeding. Now they have a new secret weapon: an ordinary six-cylinder pickup truck seized during a drug raid.
The unmarked pickup has been outfitted with tinted windows and a baby seat in order to make it look less suspicious parked along the side of the road. In fact, the truck looks so ordinary, it’s even fooled other police officers. Once, when the pickup was looking for speeders alongside I-526, a transportation department roadside assistance vehicle stopped to offer help.
Another time, when an officer driving the truck pulled over a speeder to issue a ticket, a sheriff’s deputy stopped at the scene to make sure the truck’s driver was a real officer and not part of a scam.
Stiff as a board
Placing officers in an unexpected vehicle might be an effective idea, but Russians would argue that it’s not very efficient.
Officers in the Belgorod region near the Ukrainian border have found a way to reduce speeding without even having to leave the station. They’ve created a life-size plastic cutout of an officer in a nearly two-dimensional patrol car, complete with a radar gun and a black-and-white baton held up to signal to drivers to be cautious.
The cutout has prompted drivers to do more than just slow down. Some motorists have actually stopped to show the plastic officer their driving documents, while others have pulled over and waited several minutes for the officer to come and inspect their vehicles.
Closed door policy
In December, hundreds of homeowners living near an Air Force facility in Colorado Springs thought they had discovered the latest strategy in the war on terror: lock the terrorists’ cars in their own garages.
Turns out that the Air Force was just testing a radio frequency that could be used to communicate with first responders in the event of a homeland security threat.
Problem is, this particular frequency is the same one used by an estimated 50 million garage door openers. So when the Air Force ran its test—which also happened to coincide with the first cold snap of the year—hundreds of garage doors around Colorado Springs stopped working. In fact, Overhead Door Co. said they received more than 400 calls for help from confused homeowners.
The Air Force issued a statement to residents pointing out that it actually has the legal right to use the frequency, which it began doing three years ago. It went on to say, “We also have the right to expropriate all your houses and turn this whole city into one giant landing pad, so pick your battles.”