Running On Vapour

Back in the days when I ran a car one of my motoring bad habits was to let the fuel level get dangerously low before going any where near a petrol station. It didn’t help that my Citroen 2CV could, it seemed run on vapour for days. In fact I’d ride around with a 5 litre plastic can (eh?) of fuel in the boot for those times when I did eventually splutter to a halt and that was the extent of my tank refill. For a while the minimal dashboard on the 2CV failed to register anything other than my speed so even a fill-up of fuel still left me clueless as to quite how much I had filled up with or didn’t have ‘somewhere back there’. And I liked it that way. Mercifully I no longer run a car and don’t live in the Antipodes so this story about a proposed fine for drivers who run out of fuel on some of New Zealand’s main highways reminds me how lucky I am not to be driving full time these days (I’d soon go broke from proposed fines like these alone).


Run out of gas, pay a fine — police plan

by Wayne Thompson

The New Zealand Herald

25 Aug 2009

Drivers trying to squeeze the last kilometre from an empty fuel tank now face the prospect of a hefty fine if they run out of petrol on Auckland’s motorways. Acting on a request from the police, the Transport Agency is proposing a bylaw that would…read more…


One thought on “Running On Vapour

  1. What strikes me about the article is the well founded reasons for fines given by the police and the weak and illogical counter-arguments by opponents.

    I think that car drivers are beginning to follow smokers into the “public enemy” category and, of course, they don’t like it. Their ripostes have the same hollow ring.

    It’s rather rich to criticize the proposed measure by saying the low income motorists already have difficulty filling their tanks. If that is the case, then the lesson is clear: if they can’t afford the expense of driving safely, then they shouldn’t be driving.

    I used to work in a filling station during university vacations and we were always getting people running out of petrol while doing mileage tests. They thought they had to run from empty to empty in order to work out the miles per gallon, not realizing that it is exactly as efficient running from full to full (as car hire firms do it).

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