Asia Pacific / Offbeat

Winking and driving: License plates in Australia to get emoji

AFP-JIJI

Motorists in northeastern Australia can soon an emoji added to their license plates.

It will be positive vibes only on the morning commute after a Queensland firm announced that from March drivers can add smiling, winking or laughing characters to their plates.

The state’s largest automotive organization has welcomed the digital addition.

“For quite some time we’ve seen you can support your favorite team or town with a symbol on your number plate and using an emoji is no different,” said Royal Automobile Club of Queensland spokeswoman Rebecca Michaels.

Queensland resident Laura McKee has already put her order in for the new look plates. “It’s a bit of fun. If this brightens up someone’s day while their stuck in traffic, then so be it,” she said.

With a cost of between 100 and 500 Australian dollars ($70 to $350) per plate, Queensland local Aroha Liebhart isn’t a fan, and thinks the emoji could attract unwanted attention.

“The cost pushes them out of reach for so many people; no one I know will be purchasing them when they’re so expensive,” she said. “I live in a high crime area, I do believe this will entice people to target the cars who do have them.”

But resident Mark Edwards wants to see more options for drivers, to better express a driver’s changing moods.

“They should be interchangeable so when you’re tired you can warn drivers, or when you’re a little angry you can swap them over,” he said.