It's International Car Free Day, which may explain why L.A.'s freeways are deserted. Britain's Daily Express (today's headline: "Dustman Guilty of Britons' Murders") marks the occasion with a little box of car trivia, including a bit about Los Angeles (see No. 5) that probably shocks the world but which makes perfect sense to us here. The list isn't linkable online, so as an educational service we've included the whole thing.
1. Since the first fatal car crash, about 100 years ago, 25 million people have died in car accidents.
2. Under the Locomotive Act of 1865, a person carrying a red flag had to walk at least 60 yards ahead of any car.
3. The red flag became optional in 1878 but speed limits stayed at 2mph in towns and 4mph elsewhere. It was increased to 14mph in 1896. Drunken driving became illegal in 1872.
4. The average Briton makes 645 car journeys a year.
5. There are more cars than people in Los Angeles.
6. According to FBI figures, there were 228 million guns in the US in 1998, and only 208 million cars.
7. More than half the robots employed in factories work in the car industry.
8. Pound for pound, a new car is cheaper than a hamburger.
9. In Somalia, there are about 200 times as many camels as cars.
10. In 1995, an unsuccessful novelist in Taiwan attacked six cars with a hammer in the hope that their owners would kill him. He got the idea from a book on how to commit suicide. It didn't work, as police rescued him from the irate motorists and he was taken to hospital.