Windscreen washer tired of bad rap
Should windscreen washers be licensed?
Windscreen washer Michael Shattock is a man on a mission.
For four years he has worked the corner of Lincoln Rd and Moorhouse Ave, running in between cars stopped at the lights to wash their windscreens. It is risky, tiring work, but Shattock loves it.
What he doesn't love is how people treat him. Many lock their car doors or hastily wind up their windows when they see him approaching.
Shattock, who is trying to earn a living so he can help support his 10-year-old daughter, is sick of the backlash his job brings and has launched a Facebook campaign pushing for windscreen washers to be licensed so that people can see them as legitimate service providers.
At present, there is no law or bylaw preventing the activity on Christchurch streets.
"If there were some regulations in place, then people might see it as more acceptable and be more willing to let us do what we do," said Shattock, who started washing windscreens in the mid-1990s when he was living in Hamilton.
"If you ban people from doing it or make a bylaw against it, it won't stop people, so you might as well embrace it but put some regulations in place."
The 36-year-old earns between $500 and $1500 a week washing windscreens, even though 90 per cent of the motorists he approaches decline his services.
"I always ask first and I won't do it unless they say yes," Shattock said.
The police have tried a couple of times to move him on from the intersection by suggesting they could charge him with loitering, but he has fended them off.
"Loitering means you're idle and I'm far from idle," said Shattock, who is hoping his idea for a licensing system might be picked up by Christchurch's new mayor, Lianne Dalziel.
Some cities have introduced bylaws preventing windscreen washers from working at intersections but no such bylaw exists in Christchurch.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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