Bumper stickers help new drivers

Portia Needham says the bumper stickers have been purchased in and around Cape Town, with one buyer selling a few in Johannesburg for her.

A young woman has created bumper stickers that encourage motorists to act with kindness instead of hammering their hooters the next time they encounter a new driver in difficulty.

Portia Needham, who created the “New driver pls be kind” stickers, says passing her driver’s test was the culmination of many months practice and a high point she needed in her life.

“I was proud of getting my licence, but when I started driving by myself, I realised people can be impatient and a bit rude,” she says, “They don’t know when you got your licence, or how long you’ve been driving and if you don’t have a learner’s sticker – you are just another car.”

This gave the 18-year-old, who is living with clinical depression and anxiety, the idea for the stickers.

“I am anxious and wanted people to know I am a new driver, to be a little more patient and more cautious. I am on the road by myself, it’s new and I don’t have the support of a driving instructor, my parents or a partner.

“I take pride in the fact that I got my licence and I’m driving by myself, but I also wanted to have the protection of others knowing I am still learning and I might make a few mistakes.”

The stickers were something she made for herself but after printing a few more she decided to sell them.

“My mom advertised them on Facebook, and it took off.”

The original posts on the “My Village” and the “Bergvliet and Surrounds Community” Facebook groups have garnered over 1000 likes, comments and plenty more private messages for orders.

“It was an overnight sensation that blew up in a couple of hours from an idea that was just simply because I was tired of people being impatient and not taking care that just because you have your licence doesn’t mean you aren’t still learning.”

Orders for a new driver bumper stickers can be made by email at portianeedham@gmail.com

Portia Needham, who passed her driver’s test on July 30, her 18th birthday, says she was unprepared for how rude and impatient some drivers can be.
Portia’s stickers ask motorists to exercise patience and caution around less experienced drivers.