SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has long been known for its street rods, customs, and replicas that are rarely seen on the roads of America. These are more like parade vehicles that are shown at exhibitions and, well, parades.
With these modified vehicles roaming the streets, state government had to find a way to make money off of them. Numerous states, including Washington, Florida, North Carolina, and California have enacted the SEMA-bill and now, Massachusetts joined the party.
Governor Deval Patrick signed the law in the legislation that will create a vehicle registration classification for these special vehicles. The new law will set parameters of what street roads, replica vehicles, specially constructed vehicles, and custom vehicles are.
“After 5-years of working with the legislature on various iterations of this bill, we are extremely grateful to State Representative Carolyn Dykema, in addition to Representative Brian Dempsey, Representative Joseph Wagner, Representative Charles Murphy and Senator Steven Baddour and their staffs for taking it over the last hurdle,” said SEMA VP of Government Affairs, Steve McDonald.
A benefit of this new law is that these vehicles are now exempt from emission inspections. That being said, specially constructed vehicles and replicas built after April 30, 2012 will be subject to emission requirements.
“This new law simply recognizes the immeasurable amount of time, money and attention automotive hobbyists invest in their cars. For many vehicle enthusiasts in Massachusetts and throughout America, building, maintaining and enjoying their vehicles is a favorite pastime. This new law represents an opportunity to acknowledge their commitment to the hobby and to protect it for future generations,” said McDonald.
We’re guessing this isn’t the kind of start Suzuki was expecting with their new Kizashi sedan. Barely a year after the car was launched; it’s already facing its first recall issues. Not good. Not good, at all.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, a total of 5,701 Kizashi sedans – those that were manufactured from October 13, 2009 through May 31, 2010 - are poised to be recalled over issues with the center-lower glove box on the dashboard, which as it turns out, may open in the event of a crash possibly causing a potentially serious injury if it hits any of the front passengers.
The Kizashi recall is expected to begin sometime in the middle of July at which time Suzuki will be replacing the part in question at no cost to the car owners. In the event that you have a Kizashi sitting in your garage all nice and new, you might want to err on the side of caution and give Suzuki a call at 1-714-996-7040.
Okay, listen, we are animal lovers just like everyone else, but this may be a tad too ridiculous for us and, hopefully, many other people. Yes, our hearts go out to the animals featured in the tearful Sarah McLachlan/ASPCA commercial, but Patricia Edwards and her cat-infested automobile is just plain wrong.
The reason we say Edwards’ vehicle was cat-infested is because the woman had fifteen - yes fifteen - cats in her vehicle as she attempted to back out of a parking spot at a convenience store in Pierre, South Dakota. This scenario wouldn’t be a big deal unless, of course, Edwards hadn’t almost backed into a police cruiser in her attempt to see around the furry creatures.
The police officer, who was almost backed into by the feline-loving woman, immediately seized the cats in an effort to stop Edwards from driving with such a distraction.
The courts, thankfully, ruled against Edwards and her cats who were deemed "a distraction and interfered with driver Patricia Edwards’ ability to see where she was going." A distraction. No shit, Sherlock.
Seriously, can this get any more ridiculous? If it can, we’d love to hear your stories!
It’s such a good idea that we started thinking why no one has ever thought of it before. That or maybe someone did think about it, but didn’t go past the thinking stage to the actual doing stage. Guess that dude probably cost himself a lot of money.
In any case, Yanko Design’s new Uni-Signal is taking traffic lights and turning them into something that could be of more use, especially to those who are color-blind. So instead of seeing merely colors to determine when to stop or go in a busy intersection, why not put some shapes into it so that those suffering from color blindness won’t have a difficult time determining whether they’re free to go or whether they should stop. In their example, the Uni-Signal incorporates a triangle shape/red color for stop, a circular shape/amber color for stay, and a square shape/green color for go. It’s a great idea, although, we do have one suggestion.
Keeping in with the universal connotations of certain shapes, we suggest that they make the red/stop sign square-shaped, similar to how remote controls have a square sign to connotate stop. As for the yellow/stay sign, that ought to be the triangle - matter of fact, turn it upside down so its similar to the ’yield’ sign, which in essence is pretty much what the yellow light is for - and the green should remain circular because, well, triangle and square have already been accounted for.
Okay, not to poke fun at the government or the people involved, but poke, poke, poke. We have done some research to come up with some ridiculous laws involving automobiles. Be it vehicular sex, color choices, or weird orders, these laws just don’t make any sense.
Why do these strange laws exist? Well, typically these laws were created due to some issue that existed back in the day. Why can’t you hunt on Sundays? Well, back when religion was a part of life instead of just a passing trend, laws were created to encourage people to attend church on Sundays. Why can’t you flag down a taxi in London if you have the plague? Okay, the reason behind that one is obvious, but the plague is entirely irrelevant in this day and age.
Are all of these ridiculous laws followed? Of course not. Some may have been taken out of law books and others may just not be reinforced, but all are a hilarious way to spend a few minutes of one’s time. Feel free to tell us some of the stupid laws you’ve encountered.
Hit the jump to partake in some good old-fashioned rib-tickling laws.
If you’ve been licking your chops at the thought of purchasing the new Chevrolet Volt when it drops into dealerships at the latter part of the year, you might want to hear about this new incentive that could possibly even expedite your purchase of the electric car.
It’s been announced that the US Department of Energy would be handing out free 240-volt home chargers for 4,400 of the Volt’s early buyers. The early bird does get the worm, or in this case, the home charger. Manufactured by either ECOtality or Coulomb Technologies, these chargers will be made available by the DOE for prospective owners of the new Volt at an absolute bargain of a price. We don’t know what the price tag is, but Tony DiSalle, the Volt’s product and marketing director, says that "For Volt owners who want to install a faster 240-volt charge station, we expect the Department of Energy project to save $1,000 and $2,000". Taking into consideration the rumored price tag of these chargers - somewhere around $2,000, give or take - then you can expect a lot of interested buyers to save somewhere north of 50% with these chargers.
However, it should be noted that the DOE’s generosity comes with a price tag - albeit a metaphorical one, of course - of its own. If you partake on the DOE’s offer, you’re going to have to sign off on an agreement that lets the government agency collect the necessary information to help them understand the requirements and necessities better, as well as the pros and cons of seeing more electric cars on the road in the future.
Some might call it a double-edged sword as it pertains to a government agency keeping tabs on consumers, but as far as we’re concerned, it shouldn’t be too big of a deal, especially if they can help you save as much as $2,000 for any one of those home chargers.
New Yorker James Allan parks his car in front of his house everyday and, for 13 years, he hasn’t encountered any problems with it. So what makes this story interesting?
Well, Allan returned home one day and found a $60 parking ticket slapped on his windshield because he parked in front of a "No Parking" sign. What? How can he park his car in the same spot for 13 years and only get a parking ticket today? The answer, of course, lies somewhere between the lines. Last Monday, the local Department of Transportation installed a "No Parking At Any Time" sign right next to Allan’s car and promptly gave it a ticket. That’s right. The car was there at the same spot it has always been for the last 13 years and when the DoT planted the sign, they gave Allan a ticket. When James got home from work, he discovered the newly-erected sign and, much to his shock, a corresponding ticket for his "violation".
Predictably, James will be contesting the ticket in court. "I’m not paying $60 for a sign that wasn’t there," he said. We’re with you on this one, buddy. In fact, if we were in his shoes, we’d be contesting the ticket, too.
Scott Rothstein thought that he could get away with stealing all that money. That’s $1.2 billion, in case you don’t know. But as is the case with all scheming criminals, your day will eventually come, and you will have to attoin for your mistakes one way or another.
After being convicted for his involvement in running a $1.2 billion Pozi Scheme, the New York lawyer - or ex-lawyer, that is - was recently sentenced to 100 years in prison, which means that unless he’s sold his soul to the devil, he probably wouldn’t be smelling freedom for the rest of his life.
Now that Rothstein’s crooked shenanigans are over, the US Treasury saw fit to dispose of all his sweet rides, auctioning all of them off - including some pretty impressive boats - and collecting a total of $5.8 million, which would then be used to re-pay some of the poor folks Rothstein screwed over in the past.
And if you wanted to know, the Veyron was scooped up for "just" $858,000. But seeing as a criminal previously owned it, we wouldn’t want any part of that car even at that price. Bad vibes all around, we say.
There is some bad news for those of us who live in Ohio. Not only might we lose LeBron James, but also police offers will be allowed to issue tickets because they ‘think’ a car is speeding.
New police officers in Ohio receive no extra training in estimating speeds. They won’t be using stopwatches, timing devices, or even a wonderful little thing called a radar. Instead, officers in Ohio will be giving out tickets based on a guess.
"There is no formula to apply," said Robert Fiatal, executive director of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission to The Plain Dealer. "It’s kind of a dead-reckoning kind of thing."
An Ohio Supreme Court ruling Wednesday has decided that a police officer’s hunch is good enough to issue a ticket. Though guesses have been used for quite some time, most courts in Ohio required more than that. Things like radar readings or comparing the speed of the suspect to that of the police cruiser were all used.
Now though, things have changed. The court ruled that officers trained by the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy or a similar academy are now experienced enough to be a judge of speed.
This is actually a remarkable story. Last week (Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 1:27pm to be exact), State Senator Terry Burton realized that his 2009 Chevrolet Impala had been stolen. Yes, not only did a thug steal a Chevy Impala, but it just so happened to be one owned by a Senator. Not good for Mr. Crook. To make matters worse for Sir Steal-a-Lot, the Impala was armed with On-Star’s Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. Oh yeah. After Senator Burton saw that his car was stolen, he called OnStar and reported it. OnStar then contacted local police, found the vehicle, and, when the vehicle was in a safe position, armed the Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. This technology can be remotely activated by an OnStar advisor once the car has been located by their GPS system and when police can see the vehicle and advise the OnStar representative that the car is in a safe position. The only thing left to do is activate it and watch the car slow down.
We can only imagine the look on the thief’s face as he saw the police cruisers gaining on him in the rearview mirror and then feel as the car slowly died to an idle position. Now, sitting in a non-moving car with the officers happily walking over to detain him, the crook’s hopes of getting away come crashing down and evaporating into the air under the hot sun. Not a good day for him, but an excellent day for Mississippi police, OnStar, and Senator Burton.
This story is so perfect, so happily-ever-after, that one has to wonder if this was some sort of promotional setup by OnStar or Chevrolet . We are not saying it is, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it was.