By Jeff Sanford
Toronto, Ontario -- May 4, 2017 -- In this week’s Friday Fun, we look into another jury-rigged repair pulled over by the police, the joyous news of a a baby girl born in a bodyshop, why research firm Edmunds thinks electric vehicles may never catch on south of the border and much, much more!
- According to a report by the Ottawa Citizen, “A transport truck driver’s jury-rigged solution to a damaged trailer didn’t make it past an alert OPP officer patrolling Highway 401 near Mallorytown late Tuesday.” The truck driver had “struck a loading dock in Montreal, severely damaging the trailer, ripping part of the siding off the box and dislodging the I-beams” that support the floor according to the report. “With the structural integrity of the trailer gone completely, the driver had used a nylon strap to tie up broken cross members ... The driver’s intention was to drive to Toronto where he would have it fixed,” according to an OPP news release last Thursday.“
- The lead in an Ohio newspaper this week: “Years from now, she’ll have a tale to tell about where she was born: Bill’s Auto Body & Towing.” An employee at the shop requested an ambulance for an expectant mother at the garage, at the same time as a massive storm was rolling through the area. “But the storm apparently affected the emergency notification system for the Quaker City Volunteer Fire Department, which delayed the arrival of an ambulance to transport the mother to a hospital before she delivered her child ... A sheriff’s dispatcher attempted to call the Quaker City department, but the phone system did not function properly, causing a delay in contacting emergency medical personnel in the village two miles away,” according to the report. An ambulance was eventually dispatched to the scene, “but the child arrived before the ambulance ... As the [crew] was en route, a caller reported that the woman had just delivered the baby.”
- A local TV station in Nashville, Tennessee reported that serial burglars are targeting autobody shops and stole, “more than 30 sets of keys from drop boxes at the shops.” A man named Roderick Sneed was quoted in the story. He was one of those whose car was taken. "The gentleman thought my car was in the shop and they were fixing it. But when he went to look, he couldn't find it,” Sneed was quoted as saying. He had only dropped his car off around 10 p.m. on Wednesday. It was gone before the business opened the next morning. Police said the thieves have driven off with at least 12 cars.
- A news report of a 20-page analysis of collision reports presented to the Sarnia Police Services Board provides a snapshot of conditions in that area of southwestern Ontario. “Despite the number of distracted drivers the condition of the majority of drivers in collisions was considered normal ... The number of collisions and people involved increased by eight percent compared to 2016. Despite that increase the number of injuries dropped by 34 per cent to 37 for the same period in 2016 ... In the first three months of 2017 Tuesday had the most collisions, 61, followed by Wednesday, Friday and Thursday ... Sunday had the fewest collisions with 25 ... The greatest number of collisions, 98, occurred between noon and 2 p.m., followed by the after-work hours of 4 to 6 p.m. with 81 ... Most collisions occurred in clear weather when roads were dry.”
- ”The automotive industry in China has been the largest in the world measured by automobile unit production since 2008,” according to one of the many reports that appeared in the press during the recent Shanghai Auto Show. “Since 2009, annual production of automobiles in China exceeds that of the European Union or that of the United States and Japan combined,” according to the report. The government is getting ready to have up to 200 million people on the road. “On Tuesday, three Chinese government departments, including the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, released an auto industry development plan to turn the country into a world leader within a decade. .. The government plan sees annual production up to around 30 million vehicles by 2020 and 35 million by 2025 ... The number of registered cars, buses, vans, and trucks on the road in China reached 62 million in 2009, and is expected to exceed 200 million by 2020. The consultancy McKinsey & Company estimates that China’s car market will grow tenfold between 2005 and 2030,” according to the report.
- Will electric vehicles ever catch on in America? Edmunds, the car research company, recently weighed in with a hard “no.” The consultancy warns that the elimination of a $7,500 US tax credit is “likely to kill [the] US EV market.”
- Volkswagen Group’s newest American compliance subsidiary, Electrify America, which was created after the Dieselgate scandal, has detailed the start of its investments: “In total, $2 billion is to be spent on electrification projects and $1,200 million nationwide ... Electrify America will build a long distance high speed highway network consisting of charging stations along high-traffic corridors between metropolitan areas and across the country, with an initial target of approximately 240 highway sites installed or under development by the end of the first cycle, more than 150 of which are expected to be completed. These highway sites will be present in 39 US states with higher anticipated ZEV (zero emissions vehicle – Ed.) average annual daily traffic ... by 2020,” according to a report on Inside EVs.