Your editorial (22 January) discussing the rise in popularity of SUVs and other large, polluting cars reminds me of the time when the congestion charge was introduced in London by Ken Livingstone. I suggested that the charge be based on the length of the car, emphasizing that road space occupied should determine the fee. Despite my inquiry, I never received a response.
To promote more thoughtful consideration of the challenges of modern car ownership, honesty in advertising is essential.
The Advertising Standards Authority should mandate that car ads depicting vehicles on open roads or in glamorous locations be followed by a series illustrating practical scenarios, such as the car fitting into a multi-storey space, navigating a full car park, being parked on a crowded pavement, waiting at traffic lights, maneuvering through urban traffic with passing bicycles, and driving on a crowded motorway.
It’s not just roads but also driveways that are becoming inadequate for larger vehicles. Many UK driveways lack the depth for accommodating large vehicles, leading owners to let their cars overhang onto public pavements, posing risks to pedestrians.
The reports consistently mention efforts by public authorities to control car size, but it raises the question of why car manufacturers and consumers aren’t taking more responsibility.
In light of the climate emergency, it is disheartening to witness a growing trend of people willingly purchasing larger cars. With the urgent need for climate awareness, it is essential that individuals and industries alike reassess their choices.
While large cars pose various issues, one critical concern, according to recent RAC research, is the dangerous dazzling effect of higher, brighter LED lights. Older drivers, in particular, face challenges in night driving due to these lights. A thorough analysis of accidents attributed to dazzle is needed, along with legislation to ensure the safest headlight design and position.
Looking back at 2023, it didn’t unfold as expected. In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s promise of a stable and competent government brought more political upheaval. The global scene also faced challenges, with Donald Trump’s resurgence in the US and prolonged conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East. Despite these setbacks, a new year brings hope, with elections on the horizon.
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