European Transport Safety Council calls for ban on SUVs in towns and cities

Published 20 February 2020
In an attempt to reduce cyclist and pedestrian fatalities, the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) has called for a ban on SUVs in towns and cities after research showed that the risk of severe injury or death for a pedestrian is higher in collisions with SUVs and vans compared to passenger cars.

The ETSC is calling for "urgent action", highlighting that 51,300 pedestrians and 19,450 cyclists that were killed on EU roads over the period 2010 to 2018. The council chalks this up to three design factors: SUVs and vans are stiffer, they have higher bumpers and are heavier.

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In the EU, cyclist and pedestrian deaths account for 29 per cent of all road fatalities, while 99 per cent of pedestrian deaths and 83 per cent of cyclist casualties are caused by incidents involving vehicles.

However, some crash test experts are challenging the idea that SUVs are more dangerous than passenger cars. Euro NCAP, Europe's safety assessment programme for new cars, also show that SUVs made up four of the top 10 vehicles for vulnerable road user protection in 2019.

The rating system indicates how well pedestrians and cyclists are protected against injuries to the head, pelvis, upper and lower leg.

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"Many of the latest SUVs are just as competitive as other car types as they come fitted with advanced passive pedestrian systems such as pop-up-bonnets and many also have high levels of active safety to avoid a collision in the first place, even at night and at higher speeds," said director of research at Thatcham Research, Matthew Avery.

The ban itself also seems slightly unrealistic considering SUVs and crossovers now make up a large number of models in many vehicle manufacturer ranges. Three of the top 10 cars registered in the UK in January were crossovers, for example.

Comments

Engineer Andy    on 13 February 2020

What actually IS an SUV? Is there a spoecific demarcation point between one and a 'crossover' car, or an MPV? Why not stop there and ban all vans, lorries and buses too?

Bunch of nanny state idiots. It's HOW you drive that most affects what happens, not what you drive.

Miniman777    on 13 February 2020

More EU nonsense.

How many accidents were due to cyclists not stopping at red lights or junctions? How many deaths were as a result of other road user being on phone, looking at phone or engrossed in music and unable to hear traffic ?

And by lumping 9 years of figures together makes it look worse than it might be. And why now when SUV type vehicles have been around for 30 years now?

misar    on 13 February 2020

More EU nonsense.

ETSC is totally separate from the EU and the Commission.

It is a Brussels-based independent non-profit making organisation dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe.

misar    on 13 February 2020

Bunch of nanny state idiots. It's HOW you drive that most affects what happens, not what you drive.

Regardless of whether SUVs per se are more dangerous to pedestrians your statement is clearly nonsense. NCAP includes a rating for likely injury/death of a pedestrian if struck by the car. If you were correct every car would get the same rating. They don't - and the variation can be wide.

Nickmj    on 14 February 2020

What the article doesn't say is how many of the pedestrians and cyclists were killed by SUVs or other larger vehicles. I echo the question asked by another contributer, at what size and weight is a vehicle considered potentially too dangerous ? After all there's a world of difference between a Dacia Duster and a Range Rover yet both are considered SUVs.

DLDLDL    on 15 February 2020

"Many of the latest SUVs are just as competitive as other car types as they come fitted with advanced passive pedestrian systems such as pop-up-bonnets and many also have high levels of active safety to avoid a collision in the first place, even at night and at higher speeds,"

So presumably when such systems are fitted (by edict) to all car types, the remaining difference will be that SUVs are bigger and heavier?

Why this switch over the last decade(?) away from saloons/hatchbacks/estates to bigger, heavier vehicles (presumably with higher centres of gravity)?

Banning "SUVs" (as opposed to "Chelsea Tractors") seems over the top, but if the switch to SUV is due to some government regulatory or legislative change, why not undo that change?

Palcouk    on 16 February 2020

Perhaps in their next edict they would state that all vehicles require to be escorted by a person flying a red warning flag, when driven in the city.
BTW what is their definition of a City?

VINCENT MILLARD    on 18 February 2020

No, just ban all non essential Vehicles from Towns and Cities.

Just to keep your Children and Older Folk Safe mind.

Penumbra    on 16 February 2020

<Totally separate from the EU>

Although, to be fair it's studies are used by the European Commission, and it is part funded by the the EC

Edited by Penumbra on 16/02/2020 at 17:17

   on 18 February 2020

Better to ban cyclists ,

nfield750    on 21 February 2020

Its still going to hurt if you get hit by a Range Rover or a Focus

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