Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

Winston Aldworth: Plate expectations

16 comments
A plastic 'T' stuck to a car won't make anyone a better driver. Photo / Martin Sykes
A plastic 'T' stuck to a car won't make anyone a better driver. Photo / Martin Sykes

If we're going to have "T-plates" for tourist drivers, can I suggest a few more plates for drivers distinctive to New Zealand roads?

How about "P-plates", for recidivist drink drivers? While the number of drink driving convictions in New Zealand has fallen by a third in five years, the percentage of repeat offenders on our roads has remains at about the same level.

And what about "D-plates", for those dickheads who tailgate you because, like, driving right up someone's rear end on the open road is sooooo much fun.

While we're at it, how about "WTF-plates", for those drivers - New Zealanders - who hit speeds north of 120km/h when they get into an overtaking lane. Because, of course, you need to go that fast in order to overtake someone who's driving at a mere hundy.

And "WTAF-plates" for those F1-class aces who fly through the overtaking lane then touch on 140km/h as they complete their overtaking manoeuvre beyond the overtaking lane?

"B-plates" for boy racers would also be a helpful addition to our motoring landscape.

Overseas drivers have been found to be at fault in around 6 per cent of serious and fatal crashes in recent years. But the discussion about whether tourist drivers are any more dangerous than Kiwi drivers has no context until someone can provide definitive statistics on the number of people driving on our roads on foreign licences.

Yes - we should educate people who pick up hire cars. And yes - that's already being done.

A plastic "T" stuck to a car won't make anyone a better driver. Let's all be careful out there.

Debate on this article is now closed.

- NZ Herald

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Winston Aldworth is the Herald's Travel Editor.

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