4x4s Face Ticketing Blitz

18th December 2004
news
release

News Release

Embargo: 10am, Saturday 18th December 2004

Photo Opportunity

Campaigners will meet on the steps of The Friends Meeting House on Mount St. Manchester M2 5NS at 10am Sat Dec 18th 2004 to collect bundles of mock parking tickets before setting out on an urban safari in search of gas-guzzling 4x4s.

High resolution photos available.

Campaigners against 4×4 vehicles will be out in force in Manchester today (Saturday), issuing 4x4s with parking tickets. Dozens of supporters of the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s [1] will be slipping tickets under windscreen-wipers across the city. The tickets look like parking fines, but on closer inspection they brand the vehicle as ‘a dirty and dangerous car’.

Four Wheel Drives burn fuel at a rate that puts our climate at risk, whilst also posing a danger to pedestrians (especially children), cyclists and drivers of smaller cars. If a pedestrian is hit by a 4×4 they are twice as likely to be killed [2], and in a side-impact collision with a 4×4, a car driver is around four times more likely to be killed than if they were hit by a conventional car. [3]

The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s was founded to unite groups of concerned citizens across the United Kingdom against the growing presence of 4×4 vehicles in urban areas. The Alliance seeks to educate people about the environmental and social damage caused by the increasing numbers of urban 4x4s, as well as promoting sustainable forms of transport. The group lobbies for increases in road taxes and congestion charges for 4x4s and seeks a ban on advertising in the mainstream media.

The campaign began in London, but the protesters believe that any urban 4×4 use is dirty, unsafe and unsustainable. 95% of 4x4s never leave a tarmac road and most owners have no idea how to engage the low gears.

Spokesperson Dave Coleman said: “Too many people are driving what are basically pieces of modified agricultural machinery through our crowded streets because they think they are a fashion accessory. Most 4×4 drivers don’t want to be selfish, but don’t realise the impact these vehicles have or how widely they are resented and ridiculed. We hope that using humour will help to educate drivers that these huge vehicles pollute, threaten and endanger lives and our environment, and will continue to do so, long after the fashion fad is over. Fundamentally these vehicles are not safe, not clean and not cool, and our campaign continues to make drivers aware that in Manchester as elsewhere, driving these vehicles is increasingly socially unacceptable.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

[1] The Alliance Against Urban 4x4s (www.stopurban4x4s.org.uk) is a grassroots campaign with the aim of uniting environment, consumer, road safety groups and concerned individuals in an alliance against the growth of urban Four Wheel Drive vehicles on our streets. Email the Alliance Against Urban 4x4s at info@stopurban4x4s.org.uk for 4×4 tickets, and information on where to source T-shirts and campaign briefings.

[2] New Scientist 13th December 2003 “Pedestrians at risk from sports utility vehicles” www.newscientist.com

[3] Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 10th February 1998 “New study of relationships between vehicle weight and occupant death rates helps put in perspective issue of crash compatibility” www.iihs.org