Dutch minister can't brake SUVs
13 July 2005AMSTERDAM — Transport Minister Karla Peijs conceded on Wednesday there is little she can do to stem the rise of luxury sports utility vehicles in the Netherlands.
13 July 2005
AMSTERDAM — Transport Minister Karla Peijs conceded on Wednesday there is little she can do to stem the rise of luxury sports utility vehicles in the Netherlands.
The minister said SUVs meet current European specifications and are therefore legal. Tougher regulations are being worked on but they will only apply to new vehicles.
Local city and town councils could introduce parking bans and other restrictive measures to discourage use of SUVs. But such rules would be difficult to enforce on SUVs alone without also applying the same measures to minivans and other large cars, Peijs said.
In a letter to MPs on Wednesday, Peijs revealed the findings of a study she commissioned research institute TNO and and transport agency AVV to undertake in relation to SUVs.
TNO and AVV found an accident involving a sports utility vehicle and a family car is six times more likely to result in a fatality than an accident involving two family cars.
If a bull bar is mounted on the front of an SUV, the risk of death is even greater, the AVV said.
The average weight of an SUV is 1,600 kilos but the design of the front of such vehicles and their height are the main reasons they can cause more serious injuries than normal cars. Cyclists and pedestrians are at particular risk of being killed, the report said.
TNO also noted that SUVs use far more fuel and produce more CO2 — a major greenhouse gas — than the average family car. This is due to the great air resistance and four-wheel drive system.
But SUVs do not produce a greater amount of other pollutants than other large cars with powerful engines, the TNO said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2005]
Subject: Dutch news + SUVs