An important difference with the discussions of the past is that they are no longer taking place at Dutch municipal level, but in an international context. Recently presented the ADAC – the German sister organization of the ANWB – a report on the environmental (un) friendliness of different types of cars. Large SUVs with powerful combustion engines dangled at the bottom of the list. You should think of the BMWs X5, X6 and X7 of this world, the Mercedes GLC, GLE and GLS and the competing models of Audi (Q5, Q7, Q8), Porsche (Macan and Cayenne), Land Rover and Volvo, among others. (XC60 and XC90). They use a lot of fuel because of their large engines, and that is further reinforced by their high weight and generally less good streamline. This then ensures a high CO2 emission. The ADAC even goes one step further and calls the CO2 emissions (271 g / km) and consumption (10.7 l / 100 km, or 1 in 9.3) of the Porsche Macan S 'no longer acceptable'.
“SUVs endanger cyclists and pedestrians”
A second argument against large SUVs is the danger that they pose to weaker road users, such as cyclists and pedestrians. According to the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) it is even high time to take action against large SUVs. And that ETSC is not just a hobby club of cargo-cycling goat wool socks mothers. On the contrary, it is an important advisory body for the European Commission and the European Parliament. The ETSC experts support their anti-SUV position with figures. They indicate that between 2010 and 2018 no fewer than 51,300 pedestrians and 19,450 cyclists died in the traffic of the various EU members. The ETSC also calculated that the number of traffic fatalities among occupants of motor vehicles decreased eight times as fast in the same period as among cyclists. In short, cyclists and pedestrians must be better protected.
“According to the ETSC, the knife cuts on multiple sides when SUVs are banned from the cities.”
Less traffic enforcement by the police
In the Netherlands we see – after decades of declining figures across the board – an increase in the number of road casualties. The Dutch road safety organization SVOV points to various causes for this, but SUVs are not mentioned. According to the SVOV, we must look for the causes of the increasing number of vulnerable, older road users, the increased use of equipment in cars and bicycles (WhatsApp!) And the decrease in traffic enforcement by the police.
Call to ban SUVs
The ETCS also mentions the large number of victims among older road users. But the organization focuses in particular on the harmful role of motorized traffic for the safety of vulnerable road users. According to the advisory body, for example, 99 percent of pedestrians killed in traffic are the victims of a motorized vehicle. For cyclists that is 83 percent. According to the European Transport Safety Council, the risk of serious injury is greater after an impact with heavy SUVs and vans. The organization therefore calls on large cities to coordinate their traffic policy with this. As criteria that city authorities can use for this, the traffic experts mention the vehicle weight and the pedestrian friendliness according to Euro NCAP.
Safety and the environment served with fewer SUVs in the city
Many European cities already have various environmental restrictions, but they should also consider the security aspect in their access policy. According to ETSC director Graziella Jost, the knife cuts on multiple sides when SUVs are banned from the cities. The bicycle and pedestrian friendliness is increased, so that more people get moving. That in turn is good for the fight against obesity. The environment, air quality and safety also benefit.