Identifying bad drivers

I’ve covered something like this before. Where is it now? Ah yes: here.

And I stand by each of those eight identifiers. They are a quick, easy and helpful guide to recognising that someone is more likely to be a bad driver, so that you can take preemptive evasive action before they drive badly and do some damage to you and your vehicle.

But after driving the N2 a bit on Friday, I’d now like to add another: personalised number plates

Now, if you are going to spend money on a personalised number plate, I think we can already see that you’re likely to be a Type A Personality. And what does that mean? This:

Ooh. Look at all that aggression, competitiveness, hostility and lack of patience. You sound lovely, and exactly the sort of person that I want near me doing a high speed on a major road. Fortunately, as I pointed out above, you can spot them a mile off because of that preoccupation with status, manifesting as big flashy cars and their (average-sized) flashy personalised number plates.

A timely reminder that this isn’t me.

In the Western Cape, personalised number plates cost up to an extra R10,000, and take the form of a string of up to 7 letters and/or numbers, followed by “-WP”, a hangover from the pre-94 name “Western Province”.
Because (quite reasonably) no-one would pay for a number plate ending “-WC”, would they? Bog off.

Now, we spotted a lot of bad driving on the 400km trip back in towards Cape Town on Friday – this is South Africa, after all – and sure, not all of it was from cars with personalised number plates. But a disproportionate amount of it certainly was.

Cars with plates like “TRIPLE R – WP”, presumably because he dRRRives like a wankeRRR; or the pisspoor plate “BIZNIS – WP”, presumably because he’s in the “biznis” of… driving like a wanker.

I’m not saying that all drivers of cars with personalised number plates are aggressive, dangerous tosspots, but let’s face it, some stereotypes exist for a very good reason, and this is very much one of them.