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A happy Christmas blog

In the madness of the lead-up to Christmas, we found some quirky stories from around the world. While most of the news is bad, there are encouraging signs of Christmas goodwill.

First, the Northern Territory police are rewarding sober drivers with discount fuel vouchers over Christmas. Reward is not a new idea up in the Territory and it makes a change from punishment. Local police have handed out stubby coolers and car fresheners in the past, and some lucky drivers in Katherine received raffle tickets.

Second, a traffic cop in Jakarta received an official ceremonial award for being patient during a nasty bout of road rage. An angry woman assaulted him repeatedly yet his noble response was to just walk away. The award for patience in the middle of road rage is perhaps something Australians could learn from these holidays.

Third, a small town in Canada has come up with a fascinating way of paying parking fines. In a Christmas program called Scrooge the Ticket, they can pay their parking fines forward by donating toys, food or gift cards to a local charity.

Last, an RSPCA officer in Wales rescued a squirrel stuck behind the radiator of a Volkswagen Polo. The squirrel was lucky to get away unharmed, but the car did not fare so well. A VW mechanic, obviously no Scrooge himself, fixed the Polo for absolutely nothing.

Double demerits

Back in Australia, there will be double demerits these Christmas holidays for certain offences. So drive safely, refuse road rage and enjoy your Summer holidays.

Dates: Friday 23 December 2016 to Monday 2 January 2017.

Offences:

  • Speeding
  • Illegal use of mobile phones
  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Riding without a helmet.

You might need to get a green slip before you go away.