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SUV's To Pay Triple for Parking

The mayor of Paris has proposed to triple parking rates for SUVs in central Paris, which will discourage motorists from using vehicles over a specific weight. This initiative is likely to improve road safety, reduce vehicle emissions, and promote public transport. From emissions to road deaths, the trend for ever-bigger and heavier SUVs has negative impacts.

Larger vehicles are a road safety issue for other drivers and Vulnerable Road Users (pedestrians and cyclists). Large and heavy vehicles can cause a lot of damage and injury in a collision with lighter vehicles. Also, pedestrian and cyclists injuries are more likely to be serious if a large vehicle is involved. Furthermore, drivers of large vehicles can have difficulty seeing a small child in front or behind at close distance.

Heavier cars are detrimental ecologically, and without the trend towards bigger and bigger SUVs, global emissions from the motor industry would have fallen by 30% between 2010 and 2022. This also applies to EV’s, as the heavier the vehicle, the larger the battery it requires – and with it, more critical metals, and more electricity required for each charge.

Recent years have been the deadliest for US pedestrians since 1990, with around 6,000 deaths nationwide. The growth in SUV sales, which account for 63% of passenger vehicle sales, is partly to blame. Pedestrian crashes involving SUVs increased 81% between 2009 and 2016, according to the ‘Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’. Also, a report by the ‘Governors Highway Safety Association’ found that while pedestrian deaths in collisions with cars increased 30% from 2013 to 2017, those involving SUVs increased by 50%.

Bolder regulation and legislation in NZ could discourage motorists from using SUV’s, with road safety benefits and creating a better environment.

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