Fleet News

Soapbox: Go ahead – make someone’s day

The roads are getting more crowded, the traffic jams are getting worse and road rage is on the increase.

It’s hardly surprising that people get angry when stuck in heavy traffic is it? After all, they are likely to be aiming to get from A to B in a certain amount of time for an appointment of some kind, so delays could cause all sorts of untold misery.

Many ideas have been put forward about how to relieve stress in such circumstances – some good, some bad and some ludicrous – but I have a plan which, while going no way whatsoever towards solving Britain’s road chaos, will at least help towards putting a bit of fun back into motoring.

It is cheap, easy to put into practice, and even if it only saves one case of road rage, then I reckon it’s worth giving it a go.

The germ of my little scheme started about three years ago when I was unfortunate enough to own an ageing Volkswagen Transporter camper van that by all rights should have been consigned to the scrap heap years earlier. But by pouring unlimited amounts of my hard-earned cash into this vehicle, it struggled along for a few more summers.

My little family were on our way to the seaside one day when, sitting in a traffic queue, I noticed a sign in the rear window of the car in front which said: ‘Caution – show cats in transit.’ It certainly gave me a good chuckle – although it wasn’t meant to be funny of course, which made it even more hilarious – and I decided to make a little sign of my own.

As we passed a whelk stall during the day, my slogan was conceived. When we got back home I switched on the computer and printed out a line in large print which read: ‘Caution – show whelks in transit’ and stuck in in the camper’s rear window.

The effect was electrifying. I could see people in cars behind me pointing and laughing their heads off and several folks stopped me when I was parking to congratulate me on the joke.

So why can’t we all join in and have some fun with our own slogans? Vans are especially good for this purpose as they have more room on the back for a little irreverent fun.

You don’t have to follow my whelk joke of course – half the fun will be deciding exactly what to write.

One of my favourites is: ‘A dog is not just for Christmas – if you are careful, there will be enough left for Boxing Day!’

A camper van I spotted on holiday in the US had a sticker in the back proclaiming: ‘I’ve just spent my children’s inheritance!’

The list is endless.

I’m calling my little scheme the ‘Stick It’ campaign and over the next few months I intend spreading the message to everyone I meet.

Van fleet operators could go the whole hog and get their vehicles properly liveried with their own particular jokes and slogans. I believe such a move would have a positive pay-back for companies as they will be seen as more friendly and game for a laugh. And God knows, we could all do with a laugh in these times of trouble and terrorism.

But for those who don’t want to spend that much money, most people have access to a computer and printer so it should be a simple matter to type out your line and Sellotape it in the rear window.

Go on, give it a try. You’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel knowing that you are spreading a little happiness throughout the world.

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