Teaching Dogs How to Drive Is the Latest Thing in Coronavirus-Restricted Traffic

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, as that old saying goes. One man from Lakewood, Washington, now knows that this also applies to driving.
Driver takes dog for a driving lesson in Coronavirus-restricted traffic 1 photo
In the context of a wide array of restrictions imposed worldwide to limit the spread of the new Coronavirus, COVID-19, there’s been a considerable decrease in both vehicular and pedestrian traffic. This effectively translates into no more congestion, less pollution, fewer accidents and, somehow ironically, more stupid stunts.

While some police departments have reported an increase in the number of illegal races on the now-deserted streets of major cities, the Washington State Police has a story that takes the crown. For now, at least.

One man from Lakewood, Washington, thought the Coronavirus-restricted traffic was just the place to teach his dog how to drive. Authorities responded to several calls about a driver causing two accidents and fleeing, and eventually initiated a high-speed chase to catch him when he refused to pull over.

CNN reports that the driver of the Buick Park Avenue hit two cars and fled, and then refused to pull over when summoned on two occasions. During the ensuing chase, the driver reached speeds of 109 mph.

Troopers had to deploy spike strips to get him to stop, only to find that he wasn’t even driving. His dog was, a “very sweet” but clearly unfit-to-drive 4-year-old pitbull. The man was riding shotgun, helping to steer the car. He immediately admitted that he’d taken his dog out for a ride, with the goal to teach it to drive.

“I wish I could make this up,” trooper Heather Axtman tells CNN. “I’ve been a trooper for almost 12 years and wow, I’ve never heard this excuse. I’ve been in a lot of high-speed chases. I’ve stopped a lot of cars, and never have I gotten an excuse that they were teaching their dog how to drive.”

The human was arrested and charged with hit and run, felony eluding, reckless endangerment, and driving under the influence. The dog was not arrested: she is now at an animal shelter, hoping a more caring human comes along to take her to her new forever home.


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