Our Senior Citizen Unrestricted Driving School (S.C.U.D.S.) just graduated another class. Florida roads and highways are the largest demolition derby in the world.  You don't go to see crashes, they come to you. You think Gators got poor eyesight, some of our citizens lost their sight years ago and drive by sound. 

Several years back an older tourist couple from Eastern Europe left Tampa in a rental car trying to get to Sarasota.  They missed the exit to I-75 south, which goes direct to Sarasota.   Instead they drove on the I-275 south highway to St. Petersburg for the Skyway Bridge to Sarasota and missed that exit.  They got off at the last downtown exit. 

This exit ramp becomes the road which enters the Coast Guard Dock and Air Station, St. Petersburg.  They thought the Coastguardsman in the booth was a toll gate attendant.  He thought they were looking for the commissary.  He waved them through. They thought the taxiway was the entry ramp to get back on the highway.

They did access the main runway at Albert Whitted Airport where the tower guys were frantically trying to radio the Red Chevy Cavalier to “get the hell" off the runway. 

Unfortunately, the Chevy comes with FM and music and the tower was on another frequency band yelling some explicative.  

Alas, our brave couple accelerated to 65 miles per hour, about the rotational speed of a Cessna 150 and proudly flew off the end of the runway into Tampa Bay and started to sink.  

This proves it, no coincidence. That day, of all of the 365 days in the year, the St. Petersburg Fire Department - Marine division was conducting rescue exercises off Albert Whitted Airport in case an aircraft didn’t quite make the runway.  These are the two luckiest visitors in the whole world,  I could just see the guys in the Zodiacs and larger Fireboat commenting, “  Wow, how realistic these exercises get year after year!”   The folks survived the ordeal probably thinking maybe they should have taken a cab or paid the toll.  Then as if that's not enough!

Deerfield Beach, Florida (AP)- Officials say an 80-year-old woman crashed into the DMV building in Deerfield Beach when she went to take a state-ordered driver's license retest.  

The Florida Highway Patrol says Therese Smith accidentally drove her car into through the Department of Motor Vehicles building literal "stopping at window six", Wednesday, injuring several people. 

An FHP spokesman says she apparently stepped on the gas too hard. The car went over a concrete parking block, onto the sidewalk, through a metal parking sign and through the windows of the office. 

Fire rescue officials say seven people in the waiting room were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. Four others also were hurt but did not need to be taken to the hospital. 

They were injured from flying glass and from falling on other people, but no one was actually hit by the car.  Smith was cited for careless driving.  Her test was postponed.  (Hopefully till her 100 birthday)


We Welcome our Canadian Friends: I love our snowbirds and many are friends of mine BUT the once a year migration of the slightly dyslexic Canadian drivers who love to make right turns from the left lanes, left turns from the right lanes and think signals are a waste of battery power in their cars keeps me on the alert.  They add a certain challenge to the driving here in the winter months.  


It's OK though, they help our community, give new meaning to the off-neglected letter "A" in our vocabulary and still try to convince our Senior Professional Shuffleboard Players (S.P.S.P.) that Curling is a far more physically enduring and intriguing sport. (Yawn)  Try Curling on sand…

Next time I hear how Cribbage is more exciting than Mahjong, I'll scream.  And they don't tip!  SOLUTION: Some restaurants now offer American and Canadian menus, with the Canadian one higher by 15%.


In February, four University of South Florida fraternity brothers died after a wrong-way driver slammed into their car on Interstate 275. Two weeks later, a man driving the wrong way in the same area killed himself when he smashed into a box truck. In August, another man died in a wrong-way crash on the same highway. Four more people died in two crashes the following month.

The deadly collisions on Tampa Bay area interstates, six so far claimed 11 lives. It drew national attention and much speculation as to causes. Experts weighed in with theories. Law enforcement stepped up patrols in an effort to prevent them.  But the wrong-way drivers keep coming four more were stopped since October. And that shouldn't be surprising wrong way driving is an astonishingly common phenomenon in the Tampa Bay area.

In the past seven years, troopers have responded to at least 70 incidents of wrong-way drivers on limited-access highways around Tampa Bay. That tally does not include nearly 700 wrong-way incidents that occurred on local streets in 2014 alone.  But among the data the Times collected, one pattern stands out: drunken driving. In almost all of the wrong-way driving cases that resulted in a crash, and in all six of this year's fatal wrecks, the drivers were legally impaired.  That, law enforcement officials say, is the real issue.   And that's what makes it difficult to stop.