Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rideout into the Sunset

See this article on

Man fined for driving souped-up drink cooler

NEW WATERFORD, N.S. - A Cape Breton man is fighting a ticket he received after being caught chugging along a sidewalk on a souped-up drink cooler.

Neil Rideout of New Waterford was fined $222 under Nova Scotia's Motor Vehicle Act last July for driving his motorized red cooler on a sidewalk.

But the 42-year-old says he only took his cooler for a spin on the sidewalk at the suggestion of police, who told him he couldn't ride the four-wheel contraption on the street.

Rideout says he believes he's being discriminated against and plans to fight the ticket at a trial scheduled for Feb. 2 in provincial court.

Desiree Vassallo, a spokeswoman for the Cape Breton Regional Police Service, says the only motorized vehicles permitted on a sidewalk are wheelchairs and scooters.

Rideout says he purchased the cooler, which is equipped with a radio, cup holders and a 5.5-horsepower motor, to be environmentally friendly.

(end of article)

I love that this man's last name is Rideout. It's so appropriate to the story. Especially considering that this is a story focused on a ride which many of us would have trouble recognizing.

Now, it may seem kooky to have an appliance become a motor vehicle, but when you think about it, it's a good idea. Cars are loud, cumbersome, they take up way too much space and use too much gas. Riding a cooler, which is small, light, and has a tiny engine makes a lot of sense. It would be so perfect to be able to ride a little cooler to a beer store and then pick up a 12 pack and ride home on top of the pack. Your beer would be cold, you would know where it is and you never have to look too far for either beer or a parking spot. And if there's way too much traffic on the streets? You can pick up your car-cooler and just walk.

It seems like everyone wants to talk about green initiatives and doing our part for the environment. And here's this guy, trying a real idea and he's being ticketed by the police? Just because his cooler isn't registered or he doesn't having a cooler driving license? Or cooler insurance?

The way that vehicles are defined and regulated is something of a mystery, but it makes sense that they would have to be, otherwise, a few of us may try to ride fans around town. While the principle is good and many of us can get behind the idea of the creation of a lighter, environmentally-friendly mode of transport, it's understandable that government would want to keep them in check to make sure that they're safe, reliable and don't pose a danger to other vehicles or pedestrians.

Personally, I hope that Rideout is successful in his claim and that his cooler is given license to ride throughout town. Not only would it be a personal victory and a blow in favour of Mother Earth, it would also be a great beginning for improvised small motor vehicles taking the road. Who doesn't want to see a street filled with grown adults on their way to work, riding small motorized household appliances wearing football helmets?

Rev up your microwave ovens and put them in neutral.

No comments:

Post a Comment