Fining motorists who run out of gas “bizarre”

MEDIA RELEASE - 25/08/2009

A proposal to fine motorists who run out of fuel on Auckland’s motorways is both inappropriate and cruel, says the car buyers’ Dog & Lemon Guide.

Editor Clive Matthew-Wilson says:

“People generally run out of gas because they have no money. Only a politician or a policeman could come up with a bizarre scheme that fines people for being poor.”

“Auckland has an appalling public transport system, so people have no choice but to use the motorways.”

“The police should set up systems to deal with reality, not systems that punish poor people in the middle of a recession.”

“I know that from a Police point of view it seems perfectly reasonable to tell drivers to ensure that they have adequate fuel in their cars, and then to fine them if they don’t. However, there’s actually very little credible evidence that fines work particularly well as a means of changing driver behaviour.”

“No one deliberately runs out of petrol on a busy motorway. There’s no criminal intent. Sometimes people run out of gas because they simply have no money. Sometimes they run out of gas because their lives are messy. Either way, fining them is unlikely to solve anything. In fact it’s probably going to make a bad situation worse.”