By The Editors of WorldMag.com
In the tank
Once would be a minor mistake. Ten to 15 times would be a bit of a concern. Ninety-two? A scandal. That’s the case in the English town of Devon, where police filled up their squad cars with the wrong fuel 92 times over 2½ years, costing taxpayers almost $15,000 in repairs to damaged engines. Most cases involved putting diesel fuel in non-diesel cars, or vice-versa. A Taxpayers’ Alliance spokesman told the Mid Devon Star police misfueling nationwide has cost Brits $1.6 million: “Too much taxpayers’ money is still being wasted due to sheer carelessness.”
A recent memo sent from Alberta Health Services in Canada to its ambulance drivers has a lot of drivers seeing red. AHS has directed its drivers to refrain from exceeding a road’s posted speed limit-even when the ambulance has lights on and sirens blaring. “So, what, I’m called to a call where a child is choking, and because I can’t go past [30 miles] an hour, I make way for the fire engine who is going to get there before the trained paramedics?” said Elisabeth Ballermann, president of a union representing emergency medical services workers. But AHS insists that non-speeding ambulances will be safer for other motorists and for drivers as well.
Burden of proof
Attorney Howard Lotven recently won a case in a Kansas City, Mo., court. Lotven’s response: “We are disappointed.” Lotven’s client had been ticketed after a traffic camera spotted him running a red light, and the judge in the case bought Lotven’s argument that the city’s red light cameras violated defendants’ rights to due process. But Lotven says he needed the judge to rule against his client so he could take his battle up the judicial food chain and eventually get to argue his claim in front of the Missouri Supreme Court, if not the United States Supreme Court. Lotven had argued that since the red light camera cannot identify who is actually driving the car, simply ticketing the car’s owner violates citizens’ constitutional right to due process. Now, although his client’s ticket has been dismissed, Lotven says Kansas City is free to continue issuing tickets and foisting the burden of proof onto the defendant.
No dancing shoes
If you have spent years trolling eBay or Craigslist fruitlessly looking for a life-size wax sculpture of Patrick Swayze, you’ll probably be kicking yourself: A wax likeness of the deceased actor was auctioned on Liveauctioneers.com with a starting bid of $500 before an anonymous internet bidder finally purchased it for $750. But the winner isn’t through spending: The wax Swayze comes with a black polo shirt and khakis, but without shoes.