Roads Report: Stupid is as stupid does*

*When stupid fills a car with concrete, eats donuts during rush hour or paves France

Article October 18, 2002
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La solution qui pave

Anyone who's ever visited Europe knows about its horrendous
lack of parking. Well, finally someone is fighting back.

The Parisian Asphalt Initiative (PAI) is a non-profit
organization in Ann Arbor, Mich., dedicated to ending Europe's parking dilemma,
encouraging the sale of larger American cars in Europe once the extra space is
available and ultimately providing some much-needed additional parking at Euro

Their solution is simple: blacktop the entire nation of

More detailed information can be found on PAI's website
( along with links to other great organizations like The
Traffic Cone Preservation Society. 

Bad excuse #806

In the midst of being chased by police recently, a Southampton,
Pa., man called 911 to say that the only reason he wasn't stopping was because
he feared the stolen truck he was driving contained a bomb that would explode
if he drove slower than 55 mph.

Police eventually brought the stolen Ford F-250 to rest by puncturing
the tires. The man was arrested and (surprise) no bomb was found.

Risking life and limb

Police got a leg up on a recent attempted lawn mower theft
in Englewood, Ohio.

After being spotted in the Tractor Supply Co. parking lot at
3 a.m. by police, the three would-be lawn groomers took off in their van. The
cops gave chase and eventually the van was cornered in a cul-de-sac and crashed
into a tree. 

 Only the driver
was able to flee, but police didn't have too much trouble tracking him down. He
only made it a few yards before his prosthetic leg fell off.

Don't try this at home

When a police officer pulled over Randall Lynn Harper for
speeding last November in Pacific Grove, Calif., Harper refused to talk to him.
In fact, he kept his window rolled up and doors locked. Additional officers
were called to the scene and eventually Harper was issued a citation to appear
in court. He didn't go.

Police spotted Harper on the road again this March and
pulled him over for skipping his court date. Again Harper sat in his car with
the doors locked and refused to speak. Additional officers were brought in
again and eventually he was arrested.

Harper decided to represent himself in his trial—but
not from the attorneys' area in front of the judge. He would preside over his
defense from the back row of the courtroom gallery.

When the trial began, Harper finally revealed style="mso-spacerun: yes">  his beef with police. He testified that
he had refused to accept the speeding ticket because it was issued to the name
on his driver's license, which is typed in all capital letters. The
government's use of capital letters, he pointed out, is lawfully reserved for
the creation of fictitious entities, like a business name. Therefore, he
argued, the ticket wasn't binding on a "live, flesh-and-blood man."

Harper is now serving a one-year sentence.

Heavy metal

Back in May, an unidentified man in a maroon Volvo was
visiting construction sites around California asking if anyone would fill his
car with concrete. Finally, in Dublin, some workers agreed to pour concrete in
the car up to the steering wheel while the man sat inside.

Well now he's back, this time driving an early '70s
Oldsmobile station wagon, asking for another concrete

Police are looking for the man, though they admit he hasn't
committed a crime.

A worker at one of the sites that the mystery man visited
may have some answers. He said the man told him that he was doing all this to
get back at his ex-wife.

Are you saying I'm fat?

Far too many traffic accidents occur every year because
drivers' minds aren't on the road.

But it's not just cell phones anymore. An even bigger
distraction these days is food.

Hagerty Classic Insurance recently rated the 10 most
dangerous foods to eat while driving. Not surprisingly, coffee came in first
followed by hot soup, tacos, chili, juicy hamburgers and anything barbequed.
Rounding out the list was fried chicken, jelly- and cream-filled donuts, soft
drinks and chocolate.

 The study found
that the best way to ensure an accident is to drive a stick shift while
drinking coffee and talking on the phone during morning rush hour.

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