Thursday, August 21, 2008

I love Bronze Dog's series Doggerel. A recent entry about cameras mentioned a spray paint product that claims to obscure your car number plate from traffic cameras. It got me thinking about all the dodgy products, scams and myths targeted at motorists:
  • Paints and plastic covers to hide your number plate from traffic cameras.
  • Radar detectors and LASER jammers to avoid speeding fines.
  • Fuel pills and hydrogen systems to increase fuel economy.
  • Ultrasonic devices to scare away kangaroos.
  • Eating mints to beat breathalysers.
  • Opening cars with a mobile phone.
Some of these products may work but do you really need a LASER jammer when the only possible reason for having one is so you can exceed the speed limit. Many drivers have an inflated sense of their own skills behind the wheel, couple that with a false sense of security provided by the belief that you can't be caught by the police and you have a fine combination for causing accidents.

A fuel pill scam conducted by recently collapsed company Firepower took many hundreds of thousands of dollars from investors. Some of those conned were high profile professional sportsmen, hopefully they'll use their public position to raise awareness of such scams.

I don't think there is anything special about cars or motorists that attracts scams. There are simply so many millions of them that frauds are bound to target the industry. So instead of buying that magic fuel saving police eluding magnet system for your car it would be wiser to just obey the road rules and be courteous to your fellow road users. Except the pricks on bikes of course.

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