New Zealand's Transport Registration Center said it will be swiftly contacting residents who, it has learned, registered their cars as "noncommercial hearses" instead of personal vehicles so they could save about $80 in fees. "Noncommercial hearses" and ambulances are exempt from most official levies under New Zealand law, which gave somebody the bright idea to reclassify his car, and the bright idea then spread, as bright ideas will do.
The other bright idea that eventually spread was calling a radio station to announce on the air that you had successfully defrauded the government out of eighty bucks. A woman in Christchurch made that call earlier this week. She explained that she thought it was justified under the law because "noncommercial hearses" can carry dead animals, and she uses hers to carry frozen chickens home from the supermarket. Other geniuses then called in to say they had done the same thing, although it was not clear if they asserted the same justification.
A spokesman for Land Transport New Zealand said that about 1,500 vehicles were registered under the category, but he could not say exactly how many were chicken carriers instead of legitimate hearses. The agency has found at least 40 cases so far of bogus registrations. "The dictionary definition of a hearse is a vehicle used to convey coffins, not to convey groceries," he said today. (I looked it up, and he's right, unfortunately.) The spokesman warned residents that they would be committing a crime if they do this and might lose their insurance as well.
Link: AP via My Way News