Monday April 11, 2011
Profiling According to Rims in Cincinnati?
Three drivers were ordered from their cars in Cincinnati last week due to oversized rims deemed “unroadworthy”. The police department claimed that the bolts holding the wheel to the axle risked sheering off, leaving the wheels un-tethered with the possibility of coming off the car and hitting another vehicle on the road. “Somebody could end up dead,” says Danita Kilgore, Cincinnati police spokesperson.
There are two plausible explanations, outside of a mere safety issue, for this. The “offenders” think these incidents are potentially tied to profiling. There may be economic reasoning from dwindling tax receipts, too. The charge for the impound, citation, and towing was $800, and a $238 inspection fee on top of the $800. The impounded car was allegedly searched as well.
Rim-size seems like a dubious reason to be pulling over a car, no?
Tuesday April 12, 2011
Saab is on the verge of bankruptcy, and has halted production of its vehicles because of a payment dispute with suppliers. Spyker Cars (out of the Netherlands) bought Saab from General Motors in February last year and helped guide Saab to an anemic 31,696 cars sold in 2010. Total.
Saab is one of those car brands where perception doesn’t quite align with reality, capturing more mind-space than road-space. Maybe it’s a function of sharing a common body design with other cars, similar to people who have common-looking faces that create an immediate sense of familiarity. Whenever I think about Saabs, Calvin’s dad’s car comes to mind.:
I’m not sure if Saabs influenced Bill Watterson to draw a car that looked like a Saab, or if Saabs really are the yeoman of cars.
Wednesday April 13, 2011
Ticket Quotas and Los Angeles
The L.A. Times reported this week about two LAPD officers who were awarded $2 million in a settlement for blowing the whistle on the LAPD’s ticket quota initiative in 2009. The police captain in charge of the officers mandated that each write eighteen tickets A DAY to offending motorists, and ideally for big-ticket offenses that yielded hundreds of dollars per fine (i.e., speeding and running a red light).
It’s typically a bad thing when “quotas” are mentioned in the same conversation as police departments. It’s also bad when quotas and profiling are mentioned in the same week (from different parts of the country) in the CarWoo blog.
Thursday April 14, 2011
Two Quick Things
How much do you know about school buses? Well…there are approximately 480,000 on the road today. Blue Bird Body Company is a manufacturer of school buses. And about 5% of their buses have been recalled due to chafing on the starter cable, which can lead to fires. It’s a good thing school buses have that gaping door in the back just in case one spontaneously combusts. It’s also a good thing that school bus drivers have something to blame the fire on if the kids chafe the driver.
And now for something incredibly maddening. This is actually from last week, but I caught it today. Ya know Snooki? The overpaid trashy reality TV star? Apparently our academic institutions are finding merit in her behavior. Rutgers University paid the talent-less star $32,000 to speak about drinking. And tanning. Rutgers paid Toni Morrison (Nobel Prize winning Toni Morrison) $30,000 for a commencement speech. Let me repeat that. The COMMENCEMENT SPEECH. Odds are students will remember the former. That’s depressing.
If you want to be enraged further, read the full article in the New York Times that details how much Snooki makes for drinking (yes, going out and drinking), and how much clubs profit based on her appearances.
We are a society easily duped.