ROADS REPORT

Article December 28, 2000
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Cops can be real dummies sometimes


Cops can be real dummies sometimes


Who?s blue all over and can?t see, hear, move or speak? Brookville, Pa., police officer Mary-Mary. And so far she?s doing a great job.


That?s because Mary-Mary is a mannequin. And the Brookville Police Department have been sticking her in patrol cars near dangerous intersections, along highways and in busy parking lots to keep motorists honest.


Besides taking a strain off living officers, Mary-Mary also has proven to be cost-effective. Her body didn?t cost very much, and Goodwill supplied her head. A wig and an old uniform later and she was ready to start fighting crime.


It?s all the rage


As Jerry Olson of Willernie, Minn., headed home from work on Aug. 3, he noticed a car in front of him veering erratically. As Olson passed the car, he said, the other driver swerved to hit him and then flipped him off. Olson said he responded with a similar gesture and drove away.


That incident alone would have been an all-too-familiar case of road rage. But unfortunately it didn?t end there. After Olson got home, there was a knock on his door. When he opened it, the man from the other car threw what was believed to be battery acid in Olson?s face. He suffered burns to his upper body, and eye and sinus damage.


It?s being called the Age of Rage. Psychologists blame this overabundance of anger on stress, irrational sense of entitlement, desires to dominate, but more than ever on poor parenting and inadequate social role models.


In fact, Arnold Nerenberg, an anger management psychologist, said that the single greatest predictor of whether a driver will one day exhibit road rage is whether he or she had a parent who was an overly aggressive driver.


Family feud


Some would say that after achieving international fame as a martial arts expert and sit-up champion, 38-year-old Jeffrey Warrick wouldn?t have much left to accomplish. Well, he might just prove everyone wrong soon when he?ll be nominated for seven years in the slammer.


It all started a few months back when the former champ got into a street fight in Buffalo, N.Y. When police arrived to break it up, Warrick attempted to hit Officer Traci Calandra in the face and then took off his shirt and got into a fighting stance. Warrick was promptly pepper-sprayed and placed under arrest. But just like a true sit-up champion, Warrick had a back-up.


As Calandra and another officer drove Warrick to police headquarters, Warrick?s sister, Alesia King, an off-duty 11-year police officer, cut off the patrol car with her SUV. Warrick then kicked out one of the back-seat windows, forcing the officers to pull over the blocked and now unsafe cruiser.


King quickly ran over and attempted to open the squad car?s rear driver?s-side door to let Warrick out, but Calandra stiff-armed her away. Warrick then managed to kick Calandra in the back through the broken rear window, allowing King to begin choking her. Warrick and King were soon subdued, but the blow to Calandra was hard enough to keep her out of work for months. Warrick is expected to issue an apology to both his fans very soon.


Kids just need a boost


A recent study showed that strapping your 4- to 8-year-old child into seat belts instead of booster seats greatly increases their risk of death and serious injury.


The results said that after a child outgrows a safety seat, he or she will still not be big enough for a seat belt until around the age of 9. Using seat belts before then puts children at risk for spinal cord injuries or brain damage resulting from the impact of the child?s head with their knees or the vehicle?s interior.


In 1998, 697 child passengers under age 6 died and nearly 100,000 were injured in crashes, according to government data. This new study suggests that booster seats could have prevented a sizable portion of those deaths or injuries.


From the local bar to behind bars


The woman who founded the Moderation Management organization to help problem drinkers limit their alcohol consumption was sentenced to 41/2 years in prison last month after killing two people while driving drunk.


According to police, Audrey Kishline was driving the wrong way down I-90 east of Seattle on March 25 when she collided head-on with a car, killing half the occupants. Her blood alcohol level was reportedly three times the legal limit.


Members of the 50 volunteer-run Moderation Management groups go through a nine-week program where they learn to cut down their drinking rather than completely quit. Calling itself an alternative to AA, the organization allows nine drinks per week for female members and 14 for men?though, unlike Kishline, members are discouraged from consuming all their allotted weekly drinks in one sitting.


Dropping in for a few days


When Lori Simms? grandmother never showed up to pick her up from the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last month, she wasn?t the only one left hanging.


As 83-year-old Tillie Tooter made her way to the airport, another vehicle rear-ended hers, causing her to drive off a bridge and tumble 32 ft end over end into a dense growth of mangrove and willow trees.


Fortunately, between the cushioning of the trees and Tooter?s seat belt, she survived. Unfortunately, she had to spend three hot days and four rain- and insect-filled nights trapped in the wreckage of her car before she was rescued.


Tooter said she was able to make it through by drinking rainwater she collected in a steering-wheel cover and soaking her socks with dew and then sucking on them.


When firemen finally located her, they said she was covered with mosquito and red ant bites, but still fully conscious and extremely sharp in responding to questions from medics. Miraculously, she had no broken bones and is expected to make a full recovery.


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