Is this the new “baby on board” sign?
Drivers in Queensland, Australia can order a special blue R plate to put on their vehicle, signaling to other motorists they’ve returned to the road after having a “traumatic experience.” The stated purpose of this move is to signal to others that person needs more care, patience, and concern while navigating roadways. Not everyone thinks this is a great idea.
Learn what kinds of cars Australia wants to start making domestically here.
Some have likened this R plate to the “baby on board” signs which used to be so popular. Others disagree, mistakenly stating that the difference is the baby signs weren’t issued by the government. What they don’t understand is neither are the R plates, unlike the “Learner” and “Provisional” plates which demonstrate to others the status of a driver behind the wheel.
Instead of the government sponsoring the R plates, it’s actually the idea of mycar, an Australian service and repair company. In the ads for the plates, small disclaimer language at the bottom of the screen makes this point clear: “R Plates are not affiliated with any government road transport authority nor an indication of a valid driver’s license.” Not everyone has received the memo yet.
The “R” stands for “Return” or someone who just started driving again after going through a traumatic experience on the road. The most obvious scenario would be a bad accident, maybe one which was almost fatal for the person or was fatal for someone else in the vehicle.
A debate is growing about whether this constitutes unnecessary coddling of adults or not. One side argues that post trauma stress can be a difficult thing to overcome without community support, so that requires other drivers to be more patient with those suffering the effects.
Detractors point out how these R plates could be abused similar to how people have support animals they insist on taking everywhere. In other words, at a time when so many people believe they’re the special exception for everything, there could be some abuse of these plates, rendering them pretty much meaningless.
Interestingly enough, you can go to the mycar website and download printable R plates for your car. Ordering them from the company doesn’t require a psychological screening, you just fill out your information and that’s it.
Lead image via YouTube