Roads Report: It's finally time for summer

And that means horses at the car wash, cars in the subway and ambulance karaoke

Article June 19, 2003
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Trains on her parade

A Hamlin, W.Va., teen caused an accident recently that
involved not one but two trains.

Trying to be a conscientious driver, the 19-year-old woman
pulled off the road to make a cell-phone call. What she didn't notice was that
she had parked on a railroad track.

The first train came barreling through and knocked her car
onto the neighboring track. The train on the neighboring track then came
through and rammed her car again.

Miraculously, the woman survived and says she learned her
lesson. She vows only to use her cell phone while driving in the future.

Clean horsepower

Believe it or not, there's actually an International Carwash
Association. The group, better known on the mean streets as the ICA, named the
Honda Accord the "Most Washable Car of 2003" last month.

According to the ICA, the Accord's design is the easiest to
"keep clean and void of dirt and grime via a professional car wash."

Second place went to the Audi A4-A6 followed by the Ford
Taurus, Chevrolet Impala and the Yager Equine.

Well, actually, the Equine didn't place, but Jess Yager of
Nebraska would argue that it belongs on the list. Yager likes to take his
horses to a local car wash in Nebraska to clean them. He says it's easier to
get caked mud out of their hair that way, not to mention that the horses prefer
the warm water over cold water from a hose.

The only problem is that the local police are now saying
that washing a horse at a car wash is illegal. But Yager is confident that
they'll change their tune once he gets the International Horse Washing
Association on the case.

Rudolph Valentino, not quite

A tone-deaf Italian was arrested recently on charges of
grand theft amore.

When the 38-year-old man noticed the keys in the ignition of
an empty ambulance, he decided it would be romantic to drive it over to his
girlfriend's apartment, switch on the siren and begin trying to bellow love
songs over it. So that's just what he did.

It didn't take long for the neighbors to call the police. As
he was being arrested, the man explained to police that he just wanted a
"memorable way to romance his girlfriend" and he didn't know how to
play any instruments.

Verdammter Schweinehund!

A German woman had a few male motorists snickering last
month when she accidentally drove into an underground subway station while
trying to park along the side of the road.

Police say the 21-year-old underestimated her speed and hit
the curb with enough momentum to send her car sailing over a roadside ramp and
down a stairway leading into the Mehringdamm train station. Amazingly, no one
was hurt.

The driver was only fined $35 (US) since she wasn't drunk or
on drugs when the accident occurred. She probably wishes she was, though. The
incident was reported with zeal in the Berliner Zeitung newspaper in an article
titled "Women can't park after all."

About Schmidt

German police nabbed a man at a routine roadside check last
month who has been driving without a license since the 1970s. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 

Willibald Schmidt was forced to hand over his license in the
late 1970s for excessive traffic offenses, but he continued driving without it.

So where was Schmidt headed when he was caught? To his local
motoring club where he was to be honored with an award for 25 years of
"careful driving and (setting a) good example to other motorists."

Tips from the road

This month we examine the Robin Loftin method for sure
success in traffic court.

Loftin is an 18-year-old Carlsbad, N.M., man who was in
court recently on charges of driving with a suspended license and failure to
renew his vehicle registration.

His scheme centered around a strategy of digression. When
the judge entered the courtroom, Loftin stood and removed his hat, accidentally
allowing a forgotten marijuana joint that he had hidden in his hat to fall on
the floor.

The judge immediately cited Loftin for contempt of court and
deferred his original charges on the condition that Loftin stay out of trouble,
clear his license and renew his registration.

Unfortunately in this case, Loftin's method landed him in
jail for two days, a much stiffer sentence than he could have received for his
traffic violations. But remember, the key word here is "deferred."

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