Folks, for us rural drivers, navigating through a major city these days is like accidentally puttering onto the set of a Mad Max movie in the middle of the final car chase; with slightly less pile-ups, shooting and explosions, but much more swearing.
And the trucks! I once got hemmed in by four trucks on a city freeway and wound up being railroaded over a toll bridge I didn’t want to cross, then had to find a turnoff that would get us back over it again. Boy, that was two action packed hours I’ll never forget!
Still, I reckon that if any of those city drivers had known we were ‘country cousins’ visiting the Big Smoke, they’d have cut us a bit of slack as we sped, wide-eyed and screaming, the wrong way down one way streets, over traffic islands and sideways through traffic lights. They might also have thrown less stuff at our car.
So here’s an idea: we have ‘L’ and ‘P’ plates to alert motorists that they’re in the presence of inexperienced drivers (some of whom appear to be auditioning for a stunt driving role in the next Mad Max movie), so, why not ‘T’ plates for tourists?
‘T’ plates could be used by domestic and foreign visitors, country folk visiting sick relatives who’ve been transferred to city hospitals, pastoral parents dropping off suitcases of money to children in university, or rural travellers hoping to enjoy the experience of driving on smooth, pothole free roads that they’ve helped pay for.
‘T’ plates will warn city drivers that the hillbilly’s in those dust covered, bug splattered cars are probably lost, worried sick about causing traffic chaos and possibly headed for divorce court; as soon as they work out where they hell they are.
The only other thing I can think of to get urban drivers to give us country cruisers a bit more leeway would be to buy a vehicle that’s survived a Mad Max car chase and drive it round the city armed to the teeth while dressed as outlaws.
Basically, just like we do at home.