EU Wants To Ban SUVs From City Centres

Wed 5th Feb 2020

A major European think tank that advises the European Commission has published a report which points the finger at SUVs as being more dangerous than other passenger cars.

The European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) suggests that local authorities should consider banning SUVs as their research shows that a collision with an SUV has a higher instance of severe injury or death for pedestrians. 

The ETSC points out that there were 51,300 pedestrians and 19,450 cyclists killed on European Union roads between 2010 and 2018, but that fatal accidents involving cyclists were declining eight times slower than fatalities from those within vehicles. The research may suggest that while occupants of bigger vehicles may be safer, those on the outside are not.

 “Research shows that the risk of severe injury or death for a pedestrian is higher in collisions with Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) and vans compared to passenger cars,” says the ETSC report.

Three design factors influence more severe collisions: SUVs and vans are stiffer, they have higher bumpers and are heavier.”

Many cities already ban certain types of vehicles entering central locations and in London, Transport for London insists that for any vehicle weighing more than 12 tonnes, minimum visibility standards from the cab must be met. It’s that nod to the fact that larger vehicles are more dangerous which has sparked the debate on SUVs in cities.

Graziella Jost, the ETSC’s projects director said: “The EU is facing a multitude of challenges: the climate emergency; road deaths and serious injuries; air pollution and obesity.  Policies that improve the safety of cycling and walking can also make a major contribution to tackling all these challenges. Some EU countries, the Netherlands and Denmark in particular, are showing the way forward.  If they can do it, so can the rest of the EU."