Wednesday, 29 June 2011

License Plate - Plate of Shame

Back in March, I read about Pakistan issuing "SX" and "XX" plates and how locals were refusing to put them on their vehicles because they would be subject to shame and ridicule.

Refusing Plate issues

One man, refused the issue because the vehicle was for his daughter and "boys would make a joke of her so it is not possible for him to" accept it. Another man contended that youngsters from wealthy families "might get those serials just to attract and irritate female citizens but an ordinary person cannot use those serials".

Pakistan Excise and Taxation Officer Abbas said he did not think there was anything "strange" about the new registration numbers though.

Superstitious 13? No, Number 39

Now in Afghanistan, drivers of cars with the number plates that contain 39, are taunted and mocked. Overnight the number has become synonymous with "pimp". It is unsure why but gossipers say in neighbouring Iran, a pimp was nicknamed "39" after the registration plate of his expensive car and the number of his apartment.

Plate of Shame

Vehicle registration plates incorporating the number are seen as so undesirable that vehicles and apartments bearing the numerals are said to be virtually unsellable in the capital, Kabul.

Car dealers making a killing

Kabul traffic department told the BBC: "According to law, we have to distribute plate number 39. It is people's ignorance that they go after superstition."

He accuses car dealers of trying to benefit from the situation (buying back cars with the plate at a large rate of depreciation) but others say traffic department officials are charging more than $300 (£185) as a bribe to issue plates with a different number.

Uneducated and Illiterate

Superstition is one thing. But to let people use your superstition and benefit from it is stupidity. I understand that majority of people may be uneducated and illiterate - but they should be street-smart. Are they seriously selling back cars and taking $5,000 hits on them just to get a new plate? It's just mind-boggling that they would let people get away with devaluing merchandise they bought with their hard-earned money. Shouldn't you be happy to have use of a vehicle? This maybe harsh, but I have nothing nice to say about the people who are adding fuel to the fire(s).

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