Everything the Traffic Will Allow

Editor's note: You spoke out, and we listened! The City Pages switchboard caught fire Wednesday afternoon as readers barraged our operators with a single question: Where were our lazy reporters during the


traffic altercation heard round the world? Well, guess what? Someone in the publisher's office was monitoring those phone calls through an employee-tracking agency in Salt Lake City, Utah.

And so, starting this week, we're proud to offer the Twin Cities the context behind the motoring coverage--the kind of automotive insight that you've come to expect from a corporate alternative newsweekly. Our publisher has told us to tell you to tell our advertisers that we're committed to bringing you the traffic incidents that are too hot for the mainstream media. The important stories, not just the purple prose. Or, as our new newsroom mantra goes: If a government bureaucrat demands new uniforms for motorized rickshaw drivers in Bangladesh, City Pages will be there!


New Democrat, Liberia/Netherlands
Two Versions of How Charles Taylor's Son's Driver Was Ordered Killed

"It has been confirmed. The driver of President Taylor's son (Chuckie Taylor) was ordered beaten to death because Chuckie's car, after hitting a dog, was left with some dents. Chuckie couldn't live with dents on his splendid car and whoever caused them must die. This much has been established by all sides. The controversy is about who actually gave the orders of death.

"The driver's wife-to-be said with all certainty that Chuckie ordered the beating to death of her husband-to-be following the accident. Pregnant with the man's fifth child, she said they were scheduled to be married in next October...."


Times of Zambia
Two South African Drivers in Court

"Two South African truck drivers yesterday appeared in the Lusaka magistrates court jointly charged with two Zambians for allegedly diverting three truck loads of mealie-meal destined for a Zambian company from South Africa.

The two drivers, Louis Johanes Botha and Jacobus Marthinus Andreas appeared before principle resident magistrate Frank Tembo on a charge of theft of goods in transit.

Evidence before the court was that on February 6, 2001, while working with Zambians, Adrian Banda and Rueben Hampela, they allegedly stole 3,520 bags of mealie-meal valued at K95,040,000 from three trucks which were conveying the bags from Meway Procurement and Trading of South Africa to C and S Investment in Lusaka...."


Port Macquarie News, Australia
Taxi Driver Attacked

"A 35-year-old man has been charged with assault after he allegedly punched and spat on a Port Macquarie taxi driver early yesterday morning.

"The incident occurred at a taxi rank on Horton St shortly before 2am, according to police.

"The taxi driver asked the offender to get out of the cab because he had allegedly jumped a queue of waiting people...."


Gulf Times, Qatar
Truck Drivers Warned Against Flouting Ban

"The Traffic Department yesterday issued a stern warning to trucks and heavy-duty equipment drivers against driving during rush hours.

"Lt Col Mohamed al-Marafia, assistant head of planning, safety and radar, reminded truckers and drivers of heavy-duty equipment that they are supposed to stay off the road when vehicular traffic is particularly heavy....

"Those who violate the rules would be dealt with sternly, Lt Col Marafia warned...."


Kuensel, Bhutan
Two Students Die in Accident

"Earlier today two students were killed when the vehicle they were in went off the road.

"According to reports the accident occurred near Tashila. One of the students died immediately while the other victim succumbed to her injuries at the Gedu hospital. "The truck carrying thirteen passengers skidded off the road and dropped nearly 300 feet.

Ten of the other passengers are reported to be students of the Sinchula Primary School...."


The Daily Star, Bangladesh
Tk 10 for First Two kms Fixed for 3-wheelers

"The government will enforce metering for four-stroke CNG-run three-wheelers in the city from November 1. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) fixed the fare at Tk 10 for the first two kilometres and Tk 4 for each next.

"The decision was taken at a meeting Wednesday at the central office of the BRTA, where top officials of the traffic department of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and others concerned were present.

Presided over by BRTA Chairman Mohammad Jalal Uddin, the meeting also decided that three-wheeler drivers have to be uniformed in navy blue...."


Aberdeen Independent, Scotland
Blackpool Visit Is Busman's Holiday

"Aberdeen bus driver Gareth Hopkins is celebrating after winning a prestigious award.

"Gareth beat more than 116 colleagues from across the country to scoop the coveted UK Bus Driver of the Year award.

"The 40-year-old, who has worked for First Bus for 10 years, attended the glittering awards ceremony in Blackpool on Sunday with proud wife Linda.

"Gareth passed the manoeuvring, Highway Code and mechanical knowledge tests with flying colours.

"He said: 'I was delighted to win the competition. It was exhilarating to hear my name called out in front of more than 300 people.'

"'I decided to go for it after coming first in the local competition and am grateful for the support given by my fellow competitors and members of the company who travelled to Blackpool with us....'"


The Royal Gazette, Bermuda
Car Hits Police Officer

"A Police officer was taken to hospital yesterday morning after he was hit by a car he was attempting to pull over.

"A Police spokesman said that officers were carrying out vehicle checks on York Street, St. George's at 4:19 a.m. when the car hit him in the hip.

"The Police officer was taken to King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, treated and released.

"The driver was arrested on suspicion of driving while impaired."

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