cars

Kevin Brookman / wethepeoplehartford.blogspot.com

An anonymous camera phone-wielding watchdog set off a Facebook firestorm against State Rep. Brandon McGee after a photo of his car parked illegally in a handicap spot circulated online. 

More than 60 million cars, trucks and SUVs have been recalled this year — nearly twice the previous record. That translates to nearly 1 out of every 4 cars on the road recalled for a safety-related defect.

But analysts say those recalls say more about the way the industry has restructured than about overall car safety.

Motorists would be required to use their headlights during bad weather under a bill approved by Massachusetts House lawmakers.

Gasoline prices are at their lowest level in four years. The price at the pump in many states is almost a full dollar cheaper than it was last spring.

So some politicians think this is a good time to raise gasoline taxes. Several states are tired of waiting for Congress to fix the federal highway trust fund, so they're considering raising gas taxes themselves to address their crumbling roads.

Jenson Lee / Creative Commons

The holidays can be happy, but they can also be a dangerous. Safe driving advocates are renewing their campaigns to separate drinking from driving. 

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The maker of a new vehicle called the Slingshot is meeting with state motor vehicles officials to discuss whether they may sell the three-wheeler in Connecticut. 

The first 2015 Ford F-150 rolled off the assembly line this week, and it is no normal truck. The new F-150 pickup is the first with an aluminum body, making it hundreds of pounds lighter than its predecessors.

Ford isn't taking this gamble on just any truck — the F-150 is the company's most important vehicle. Morgan Stanley estimates the F-Series truck line and SUV derivatives represent 90 percent of Ford's global profits.

Richard Howard

Car Talk is the most important program in the history of public radio.

There, I said it.

Tom Magliozzi, one of public radio's most popular personalities, died on Monday of complications from Alzheimer's disease. He was 77 years old.

Tom and his brother, Ray, became famous as "Click and Clack the Tappet Brothers" on the weekly NPR show Car Talk. They bantered, told jokes, laughed and sometimes even gave pretty good advice to listeners who called in with their car troubles.

If there was one thing that defined Tom Magliozzi, it was his laugh. It was loud, it was constant, it was infectious.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

If you're driving on one of the state's major highways and you see one of those electronic message boards overhead, it may now offer you something new: real-time information about how long a trip will take. 

All around the country, gasoline prices have been falling for weeks, down to an average of about $3 a gallon. Those lower prices are helping restrain inflation across the board.

On Wednesday, the Labor Department said its consumer price index barely inched up 0.1 percent last month. Over the past 12 months, the CPI has risen by 1.7 percent, roughly half of its historical average rate of increase.

That sounds great for consumers.

iStock / Thinkstock

The city of Hartford says it won't "control" the parking in its new $350 million baseball stadium development, but it wants to have "input" and make "recommendations" as to who will operate that parking. And that's gotten the attention of a state development official who has cautioned otherwise. 

NYC Council Considers Car Ban For Central Park

Oct 9, 2014

New York City’s Central Park may soon be free of cars.

USA Swimming Suspends Michael Phelps Over DUI Arrest

Oct 6, 2014

Eighteen-time Gold medalist Michael Phelps, who was arrested for Driving Under the Influence, has been suspended for six months and will miss the 2015 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming announced on Monday.

"Michael's conduct was serious and required significant consequences," USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in a statement.

Steve Lyon / Creative Commons

A new report reveals a disparity between the frequency of traffic stops among white drivers and drivers of color in Connecticut.

Some good news heading into the long weekend: Labor Day gas prices are at their lowest level in four years.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the nationwide average for retail regular was $3.45 per gallon on Aug. 25 — that's the lowest average price for a Monday ahead of Labor Day since 2010, and it's about $0.25 per gallon less than at the end of June this year. The current price is down from the record average of $3.83 for the 2012 holiday.

Former FBI Director Louis Freeh was returned to surgery at a New Hampshire hospital on Tuesday, after suffering serious injuries in what police say was a one-car crash Monday, according to the Burlington Free Press. The newspaper also reports that Freeh is under armed guard.

The motorcade of a Saudi prince was hit by thieves Sunday night, as armed men burst from two BMWs and carjacked a vehicle that contained 250,000 euros (about $335,000). The motorcade had been headed from a luxury hotel in Paris to an airport; police suspect the gunmen had inside knowledge.

Miki Yoshihito / Creative Commons

A campaign to raise awareness about the problem of leaving children alone in hot cars is being launched in Connecticut, weeks after the death of a Ridgefield toddler. 

Sales incentives helped U.S. auto sales rise in July, as major auto companies reported selling more than 120,000 more vehicles than the same month last year. GM retained its spot as the U.S. sales leader.

Sales of passenger cars rose by nearly 5 percent this July compared to last year, with sales of light trucks even higher, at 13.4 percent, according to data released Friday by research firm Autodata Corp.

GM sold 256,160 vehicles last month, beating Toyota's 215,802 and Ford's 211,467.

Company Experiments With 3D-Printed Car

Jul 16, 2014

3D printers are capable of producing a variety of consumer products, from children’s toys to prosthetic limbs. Now, a company in the Phoenix area is trying to take the technology to the next level with cars. From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Carrie Jung of KJZZ reports.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Toll booths have lots of bad connotations in the Northeast, and not just because of a the tragic accident in Connecticut nearly 30 years ago, which forced the closing of the toll booth.

Contributed Photo / Connecticut Department of Transporation

Highway tolls are again being discussed in Connecticut as part of an 18-month study conducted by the state Department of Transportation. It's got road planners asking an interesting question, can one type of toll actually reduce traffic?

dolgachov/iStock / Thinkstock

The fourth and final crackdown on distracted drivers is being held in the Danbury area. 

Bonhams

A one-of-a-kind automobile built by a Connecticut icon goes on the auction block this weekend.

Google Is Becoming A Car Manufacturer

May 28, 2014

Google is taking a detour into the world of automobiles, by becoming a carmaker.

But not just any car: a car that drives itself. In an effort to create a fully, 100 percent self-driving vehicle — something that needs no human being at the steering wheel — the company is building a car without a steering wheel.

Scientists at the company's research wing, Google X, have been working on this project hush-hush for the past year.

Today's Self-Driving Car

Design Pics / Thinkstock

A group of taxi firms in Connecticut is suing two new ride-share companies, trying to stop them from doing business in the state.

F Delventhal / Creative Commons

Connecticut ranks 27th among 50 states when it comes to pedestrian safety, according to Dangerous By Design, a new report compiled by the National Complete Streets Coalition, a program of Smart Growth America. 

Rusty Clark / Creative Commons

Massachusetts transportation officials said a new construction plan for replacing the Interstate 91 viaduct in Springfield will cause fewer traffic headaches than a previous version. 

Don't scuba dive. Be careful about flying. Stay out of those hot tubs. Pregnancy comes with a long list of do's and don'ts.

Now it looks like we might need to add another item to that list: Drive more carefully.

Expectant mothers are more likely to have serious car crashes, a large study out of Canada finds.

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