Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Smart Car, dumb driver:Red-faced Ralph blows through 'pink' light

The Edmonton Sun October 20, 2005
Alberta's premier took a turn driving an energy-conserving Smart Car yesterday, but apparently the car isn't smart enough to stop at red lights.
Ralph Klein, who was driving the $16,000 Mercedes-built automobile with Environment Minister Guy Boutilier as his passenger, admitted that he inadvertently zoomed through a light on his way from Government House to the Legislature.
"Unfortunately I was so enthralled with the car that I went through a pink light - you know, that sort of yellow and red?" he explained.
Two Sun photographers witnessed Klein's traffic faux pas. David Bloom and Preston Brownschlaigle were following Klein and Boutilier east along Jasper Avenue, when the politicians had to stop behind a car that was parallel parking.
The photographers continued past and stopped for a red light at 116 Street.
"I turned around in the seat to shoot back on an approaching Klein," said Brownschlaigle. "The light changed to red and as I was waiting for the Smart Car to arrive next to us and take a picture, Klein blew past us through the red light."
Klein said the intersection was equipped with a red-light enforcement camera "so I might be getting a ticket, who knows? Or Guy will, anyway."
In fact, the red-light camera was positioned to catch southbound vehicles running the light.
Boutilier defended the premier's driving, telling the Sun photographers that Klein was having a little trouble getting used to the unique gear shift which switches back and forth between automatic and standard.
Read full article here.

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