ROADS REPORT

The times they are a changin’

Article January 04, 2002
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Glen or Glenda?

In an attempt to keep the Coshocton County Jail in Ohio from
overcrowding, a municipal judge sentenced two men to spend an hour last month
downtown dressed as women.

Jason, 23, and John, 21, were forced to walk around in
dresses, wigs and makeup after being arrested for throwing beer bottles at a
woman in a car. They were also fined $250 each.

The men complied grudgingly at first, but later said the
experience helped them sort out some unresolved issues from their adolescence

Train splotching

The San Francisco subway is no place for endangered snakes.
Unfortunately that lesson had to be learned the hard way.

San Francisco garters are believed to number fewer than
1,500 in the wild.

Well, now that number is down to 1,499 be-cause the Bay Area
Rapid Transit smushed one.

The transit system faces a $1 million bill from the
contractor of a BART airport extension project for the 18-day work stoppage
while wildlife officials investigated.

No one’s sure yet how the snake made it past the
security perimeter around the construction site, nor how it managed to smuggle
a box cutter in, too.

Good arm, Charlotte

You wouldn’t think carjacking in Key Lar-go, Fla.,
would be too difficult. Nothing moves too quick down there, right?

Well, 26-year-old Gil Costello had some trouble thanks to
some quick-thinking bystanders.

After attacking a motorist and taking off with their white
SUV, Costello began a high-speed chase through the upper Florida Keys from
police and TV helicopters.

Seeing the chase on the news, bystanders armed themselves
with bricks and rocks and even a bicycle and chucked them at the lawbreaker as
he sped by.

Injured and bleeding from the debris, Costello bravely
continued on until police finally forced him to stop with road spikes. style="mso-spacerun: yes">  

The wash

We’ve all wondered what’d it be like to go
through a car wash without a car. Recently a man in Sweden was able to find
out.

The 60 year old was using a high-pressure hose to wash his
bus when the hose accidentally hit a sensor setting off the machine’s
rotating brushes. As the man struggled to free his hose, he inadvertently got
his foot caught and was pulled in and pinned against the spinning brush.

After a few minutes of screaming, someone finally heard him
and hit the washer’s emergency stop button. The man has four broken ribs,
but also, thanks to a court settlement, 6,000 extra crowns ($570).

Penalty box

Patience is a virtue in downtown Toronto where various
intersections prone to clogging are now marked with bold yellow stripes. Get
caught on the stripes when the traffic light turns red and you’ll be
rewarded with a ticket.

The new yellow zones are part of a new anti-gridlock
campaign in Toronto. Officials worry the gridlock could detain emergency
vehicles, endanger pedestrians or incite road rage.

Police warn they’ll be watching the intersections more
carefully and fines for being caught can run up to CAD $100. (Americans, that
works out to only about $2.35 in our dollars.)

What a bunch of BLLSHT

When a Vermont car owner purchased vanity plates reading
“SHTHPNS,” it sure did.

The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles issued Paula Perry
her plates in 1997, but then tried to replace them free of charge this year
when a DMV employee noticed the plates implied the phrase “sh**
happens” and could therefore be deemed offensive. So in true American
spirit, Perry sued.

Mrs. Perry claimed she was the victim of viewpoint
discrimination. She argued that the DMV allowed other similar vanity plates
like “POOPER” which were not deemed offensive.

The court ruled that “sh**” is a profanity and
the plates would have to change.

About the author: 
Roads Report is a monthly roundup of unusual traffic-related events in the news. All the stories are true, but reported in fun.
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