ROADS REPORT

What in the world?

Article February 05, 2002
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What a drag


What a drag


Let’s face it—toll collection isn’t the most exciting job. In order to stay in such a good mood, collectors often find innovative ways to amuse themselves during their downtime.


Such was the case in Delaware when two I-95 collectors started a friendly snowball fight. The fun ended quickly, though, when one of the collectors reached out to scoop some snow off a passing tractor trailer rig.


The toll collector’s hand got caught on the rig and he was pulled from his booth and dragged down the highway to his embarrassing death.




Crazy Canucks


Those nutty Canadians are up to it again. This time one’s decided to sue a highway.


A lawyer from Waterloo, Ont., has filed a class action suit against an electronic toll highway over a $.12 debt.


After being issued a CAD $30 late charge on the overdue $.12, Richard Prendiville is attempting to force highway operators and the Ontario provincial government to refund all late penalties charged to Highway 407 drivers since its opening in June 1997.


Prendiville said that the penalty qualifies as interest and substantially exceeds the maximum annual "criminal rate" of 60%.




Having a blast in Glasgow

If you’ve ever been to Scotland, you no doubt learned that local thieves love to rip off copper. You probably also noticed that Scottish thieves are really stupid.


One young chap in Glasgow recently discovered a solid copper cable on some electric train tracks. Through some research, he found that area electric trains collect power from overhead cables and transmit any extra through the rails to this copper cable that routes the electricity to a power redistribution box.


What he didn’t have was an accurate train schedule. When the man went to cut the cable during what he thought was a gap between trains, he was surprised to see a train arriving 10 minutes early. He wasn’t surprised for too long.




Crazy about work

Pennsylvania state representative Jane Baker said she will indeed run for a second term in office despite injuries from a traffic accident that have left her largely mentally disabled.


Baker said she’s as capable as any other representative. Well, except that, as she recently told a jury, she "needs help with reading and understanding material and carrying on conversations." Oh, and she also said something about being "virtually unemployable" except for her position in the legislature, but that was probably just the medication talking.




2002: A Car Odyssey

Someone in Japan has been watching too many "Knight Rider" reruns.


Toyota Japan and Sony are working together to bring consumers a car that shows emotion and understands your feelings.


Known as the "Pod," it has lights inside that change colors to show happiness, sadness and anger depending on your driving. It can measure your pulse and perspiration levels. It can memorize your musical preferences and choose suitable background music. It can open the door and swivel your seat for easy entry when it senses you approaching. It’ll even say goodbye when you turn off the engine.


Toyota and Sony claim that this is merely an attempt to market to younger drivers and that as far as they know, the apocalypse is still a ways off.




Even the best laid plans go awry

When police confiscated 49-year-old Alan Martin’s RV after a minor traffic accident, he didn’t take it lying down.


Well, OK he did.


But he didn’t lie down just anywhere. To express his frustration, he lay down in the middle of a busy street in Daly City, Calif.


When police couldn’t get Martin to budge, they blocked a lane of traffic with their cruisers to shield him.


That worked just fine until Kevin Domino, 37, fleeing from police, came tearing down the same street. First, Domino careened off one of the cruisers and drove over Martin. Then, trying to straighten out his car, he inadvertently ran over Martin again.


Martin was hospitalized in fair condition. Domino was arrested a few blocks away when his car stalled.


Martin is now reportedly considering a run for state representative.


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