A T-plate tangle for Kiwis

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T-PLATES: Petition launched in New Zealand.

CONCERNED Kiwis have launched a petition to force tourists to display ‘T-plates’ on their cars so that they can be more easily identified and given a wider berth.

“I started it because I think there needs to be a change in the conditions for letting overseas drivers onto our roads,” said the campaign organiser before unleashing the head-scratching statement that “over the last five years there have been 13.6 fatalities involving overseas drivers. Fourteen people that could have survived if overseas drivers were more informed.”

New Zealand has seen record numbers of tourists in recent years, more than three million in 2015 alone, and menacing mountainous terrain, but tourism chief Chris Roberts said it was a “stupid idea” that “will never happen,” pointing out that “only a very small percent of overseas drivers are bad drivers, just like a small per cent of New Zealanders are bad drivers.”

Detractors of the campaign have pointed out that labelling vehicles used by tourists so blatantly would make them easy targets for criminals and ultimately discourage visitors.

Less than 6 per cent of serious incidents from 2010 to 2014 involved foreign drivers, with short-term tourists likely to make up an even smaller fraction.

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