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A Welsh man has been banned from driving for 18 months. The speeding, one armed, drunk driver, holding a mobile phone to his ear, jumped a red light (The Sunday Age, Melbourne, November 2001; contributed by Ian Scott).

Protest causes car manufacturer to change ads

The rising road toll and complaints from motoring groups has forced Alfa Romeo Australia to change its national advertising campaign. The complaints centred on the promotion of speed at a time when Victoria's road toll is the worst in a decade. The Victorian road user group, RACV, accused Alfa Romeo of irresponsibility in its “Festival of Speed” advertisements, noting that 41% of road deaths this year were related to excess speed. An Alfa spokesman said that the ads were intended to celebrate Alfa's victory in the 2001 European touring car championship. The ads were withdrawn and are to be changed to make clear that they are about motor sport and “that the only place where speed is glamorous is on the racetrack”. The RACV called for the development of a code of practice for car related advertising practice similar to that adopted in many European countries (The Age, Melbourne, December 2001; contributed by Ian Scott).

Copy cat rope scene leaves boy hung up

As millions of South Africans celebrated Youth Day on June 16, an imaginative young boy from Langa almost turned the day into one of tragedy for his family, by playing out a hanging scene he had witnessed on TV two days earlier. The SABC1 television series Hlala Kwabafileyo, has a huge following country-wide and audiences watched in horror at last week's episode, when the main character in the film, Baba Mhlongo, hanged himself. But little Thando Ngwevela, aged 4, who attends St Anthony pre-primary school in Langa, Cape Town, took things too literally, when he copied the hanging scene while playing alone in his backyard. According to Noyu, his mother, Thando took a small chair and placed it next to the washing line, before tying a length of the line around his neck. He then kicked the chair from beneath his feet. A distraught Noyu said she was with her friend when she heard her son's cries for help. Spotie Ngweveka, Thando's grandmother said the boy told her later that he had tried to kill himself because he had seen it on Hlala Kwabafileyo. In the film, viewers saw Mhlongo hang himself. But the whole episode has brought condemnation from some quarters. All that remains of the boy's ordeal are scars on the side of his neck—a grim reminder of what might have been (City Vision, South Africa, June 2001; contributed by Nelmarie du Toit).

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