Warrants of fitness cause a stir

For the year 1913 all drivers of motor vehicles in Christchurch, will (says the Press), under the by-laws coming into force immediately, be required to possess certificates of proficiency. In the case of owners and drivers of privately-owned motor cars or cycles these certificates are called ''certificates of ability.''

In the case of drivers of vehicles for hire they are called ''certificates of competency''. The former certificates cost 10s; the latter 1s. Motor cyclists pay 5s for their certificates. To carry out the duties created by the new by-laws, a motor inspector has been appointed.

His duties, which start from to-day, will be ''to examine and inspect all licensed motor cars and all motor delivery vans, to examine applicants for certificates of ability to drive and handle private motor cars or cycles, and for certificates of competency to drive licensed motor cars or motor delivery vans and to ensure the carrying out of the provisions of all by-laws of the Council relating to motor cars, motor cycles, or motor delivery vans.''

Six months' grace will be allowed to owners of private cars and cycles to secure certificates of their ability to drive. In the case of visitors (a ''visitor'' is one whose usual place of abode is more than 100 miles from Christchurch) 28 days' freedom will be accorded.

A leaflet has been issued by the Dunedin Expansion League, in which are set out in emphatic terms the many climatic advantages possessed by Dunedin and the whole of the province of Otago as against the climate experienced in other parts of the dominion.

''Far from the tropical dankness of Auckland, the windy bluster of Wellington, the parching `nor'-westers' of Canterbury,'' it states, ''New Zealand's climate is found at its best in Dunedin, the capital of Otago.''

Tabulated figures are given showing the number of days on which rain fell during 1911 at the four main centres (Auckland 220, Wellington 161, Christchurch 122, Dunedin 118), the highest temperature recorded and the date, and also the average rainfall for a period of three years to 1902.

An incident reminiscent of the good old days when prisoners in Dunedin were threatened with being locked out if they did not return in time occurred on Saturday night.

A prisoner under reformative sentence had been in the Dunedin Hospital for some time. At dusk on Saturday he eluded the nurses, and proceeded to do a round of the hotels. Warders searched the grounds and surrounding streets without avail, and one of them, on going into the ward at midnight, found the prisoner safely under the blankets, sound asleep. Sunday morning saw the prisoner back in his cell.

- ODT, 13.1.1913.

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