By on April 29, 2016

Snapchat crash

The trial has all the ingredients needed to garner a nation’s attention: a young female driver, a speeding Mercedes, a dark, rain-slicked highway, a carelessly wielded phone, a potentially dangerous social media app, and a hard-working man left permanently disabled.

The lawsuit against Snapchat and motorist Christal McGee by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the Mitsubishi Outlander rear-ended by McGee’s C230 outside of Atlanta last September, alleges the social media app’s speed filter played a role in the collision. (Read More…)

By on April 18, 2016

china battle

Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop, as the saying goes. Now imagine those hands are on the throttles and control levers of heavy, wheeled machinery.

A street battle broke out in China’s Hebei province over the weekend, according to the Associated Press, one that saw members of rival construction companies go at it in large, front end loaders. (Read More…)

By on January 5, 2016

chicago-crushes-redflex

Twenty-fifteen was a tough year for Redflex, the well-known and thoroughly-loathed Australian purveyor of corruption, bribery, and traffic-ticket cameras.

Although the firm’s US arm obtained a small victory in the $300 million lawsuit filed against it by the city of Chicago, getting the case transferred to federal court, Chicago is expanding the scope of its lawsuit in response. Meanwhile, smaller municipalities are abandoning Redflex in droves — and the numbers make it easy to see why.

(Read More…)

By on July 31, 2015

Phony service history

Hat tip to reader Alexander who sent us a link to a comprehensive 1991 BMW 325ic’s service history offered up on eBay because someone just probably wants them for the “novelty.”

The items reportedly include purchase paperwork and dealer maintenance records for an Alpine White, automatic convertible built around April 1991. Paperwork from Hawaii, Washington and California is included in the mildly suspicious auction lot listed with a Washington location.

“I want to frame those oil change receipts and hang them on my walls,” said nobody browsing this eBay listing.

(Read More…)

By on March 31, 2012

Be careful if you take I84, one of Connecticut’s main drags. You could turn into collateral damage of a war between feuding State Police troops. There might be a pizza prize on your head. (Read More…)

By on June 24, 2010

What do you call it when you roll through a stop sign with only a perfunctory tap on the brakes? Here in Oregon, the name “California stop” seems to have stuck. But it turns out that Oregon’s petty provincial put-down may just be a backhanded compliment. According to Gary Lauder, stop signs suck and should be replaced, if not ignored. And you know what? He’s got a hell of a point. Check out his recent presentation from the TED conference, and contemplate the possibilities of a post-stop sign world.

By on June 24, 2010


The Oregon Court of Appeals earlier this month threw out a commonly performed roadside sobriety test as unscientific. A divided three-judge panel found the accuracy of vertical gaze nystagmus in establishing drunkenness remained unproven in the eyes of the court.

(Read More…)

By on June 23, 2010

Fewer 16-year-olds are registering for driver’s licenses in Illinois, according to Chicago Breaking News… but why?

[In 2006] Illinois lawmakers doubled the number of hours — to 50 from 25 — of adult-supervised driving required before a driver with a learner’s permit could get a license. The next year, the number of 16-year-olds with licenses dropped by nearly 5 percent — to 74,675 from 78,250 — even though the state’s teen population increased.

Then, on Jan. 1, 2008, Illinois imposed a sweeping overhaul of teen driving laws, the heart of which tripled the length of time — to 9 months from 3 months — a teen driver must possess a learner’s permit before acquiring a license. That year, the number of 16-year-olds with licenses dropped again, this time by 17 percent, to 61,862.

The decrease is continuing. The Illinois secretary of state’s office estimates that fewer than 60,000 driver’s licenses were issued to 16-year-olds in 2009.

The usual economy and internet-based explanations are trotted out, but it seems that mandating supervised driving hours keeps kids out of cars. And though that’s good news for Illinois drivers, it’s certainly not a trend that the auto industry wants to see followed. After all, safety is a box on an option list, not something that reduces demand for cars, right? On the other hand, just because kids aren’t registering for driver’s licenses, doesn’t mean they’re not driving. Should we do away with mandatory supervision to drive the market for cars, or should supervised hours or a more thorough form of mandatory training be instituted? Or, should the legal driving age simply be moved up to 18? Better yet, forget the politics: do you let your 16 year-old drive, and if so how do you prepare them?

By on June 23, 2010

Motorist Paul Miller filed a federal lawsuit against Sanilac County, Michigan sheriff’s department after he was accused of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) despite being completely sober. The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit earlier this month ruled that his case should be tried by a jury.

(Read More…)

By on June 15, 2010

A bipartisan effort to overturn a controversial Ohio Supreme Court ruling garnered the support of twelve of the state Senate’s thirty-three members in just four days. Senators Tim Grendell (R-Chesterland) and Capri S. Cafaro (D-Hubbard) jointly introduced legislation on Thursday that would forbid police from issuing speeding tickets based solely on the officer’s best speed guess.

(Read More…)

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