Like many I assume, to me, being alone and driving my car is a tiny slice of sanctuary. I can think, I can breathe, I can even have a little singalong if I so choose. However, what I do try to keep in mind is that the glass in the car is clear, as in TWO WAY, so when I stopped at the lights yesterday and saw a guy with his finger up to his knuckle, mining for whatever up his nose, I almost lost my lunch – and hence it’s this week’s Tarmac Tantrum.
Many years ago I had the pleasure of touring downtown LA and Hollywood in the back of a jet black Limo. The space and luxury inside was tremendous and I’ll leave it to your imagination as to what my then girlfriend and I got up to – with imagination being the operative word here, as my Limo came with the mandatory dark tinted glass, so no-one could peer inside. This is NOT the case in your everyday SUV.
On the whole, the vehicles on NZ roads come with clear, ie ‘see-through’ glass, meaning that not only can you see out, but those outside can see in. There are numerous vehicles out there that have opted for ‘tinted glass’, to look a little cooler and in fact, keep the vehicle a little cooler, but they still, by law, must be transparent.
(According to the NZTA, the maximum level of visible light transmission (VLT) for any tinted window on a vehicle is 35%. This means that the tint on any window cannot be darker than 35%. This is to ensure that the driver has a clear view of any potential hazards or pedestrians that might be on the road).
Sure, being in an elevated SUV does offer a shade more protection from the prying eyes of those in a sportscar (and vice versa), but with NZ having more than its fair share of SUVs on the road, even this is no excuse for nasal mining.
Admittedly, and I could be guilty of this, there is a feeling of being absolved from judgement from the outside world when behind the wheel of a car, after all, there is is a certain amount of anonymity about being ‘in your own little world’, meaning that drum solos on the steering wheel (who can resist Phil Collins ‘in the air tonight’) at traffic lights can be forgiven, but seriously, allowing your digits to wander up your nasal passage is surely still best left for the likes of a toilet cubicle? After all, there’s then the question of what you do with your freshly acquired bounty! (visibly shudders)
Anyway, with calling and texting in vehicles being made illegal, and smoking/vaping being unsociable, I get that the thing you can do with your hands is becoming less and less, but no-one will be appalled if you eat a burger or have a beverage (well I wouldn’t) – just remember to wash your hands first!!