Friday, February 15, 2013

Nightmare in a car at 125 mph

By Michael J.W. Stickings 

Simply incredible:

Frank Lecerf, from his home in Pont-de-Metz, near the French city of Amiens, was making his weekly trip to the grocery store in his Renault Laguna. He was going 60 miles an hour when the car's speed dial jammed. Lecerf tried to brake. Instead of slowing, though, the car sped up -- with each tap on the brake leading to more acceleration. Eventually, the car reached a speed of 125 mph -- and then remained stuck there. For an hour.

Lecerf, frantic, called the police from his car -- and they sent an escort that The Guardian describes as "a platoon of police cars" to help him navigate a busy highway. (Lecerf stayed, appropriately, in the fast lane.) What resulted was a small miracle of technological coordination: Responding to emergency services' advance warnings, three different toll booths raised their barriers as Lecerf approached. A police convoy ensured that roads were kept clear for the speeding car. Fellow drivers, obligingly, got out of the way. Emergency services patched Lecerf through to a Renault engineer who tried -- though failed -- to help Lecerf get the speeding car to slow down.

Finally, his car ran out of gas. In Belgium. A long way from home (see map below):

The man and his vehicle and his communal, ad hoc escort ended up traveling more than 100 miles together before they got their Hollywood ending -- an ending made possible not by individual heroics, but by collective effort.  

Ah, collective effort. In other words, collectivism, socialism, totalitarianism.

So this guy must be one of the 47%, right? (Or, as they say in France, the 100%.) Maybe Obama should invite him to next year's SOTU.

I'm just saying, this story would be a whole lot more impressive if he'd done it on his own without relying on government.

(I'm kidding, of course. Republicans can go... well, you know what they can go do with themselves.)

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