Calls for city SUV ban after four pedestrians die in a single collision
There have been calls in Germany for SUVs to be banned from city centres, following a collision involving a Porsche Macan that was travelling at excessive speed before mounting a pavement and killing four people waiting at a crossing.
The causes of the collision are unknown, and are subject to an ongoing police investigation, though media speculation has centred on the possibility of the driver experiencing an epileptic seizure.
While the vehicle in question may have been out of control, a number of observers have raised questions about the rising numbers of SUV or SUV-style vehicles in urban areas.
According to Euro NCAP’s 2014 tests, the Porsche Macan achieved a pedestrian protection score of 60% and “the front edge of the bonnet scored no points, with poor protection being provided”.
The forward-collision warning system was only offered as an option and was “not expected to be on most vehicles so was not included in the assessment”. Despite these failings, the marketing of the vehicle centred on promoting it as a luxury vehicle for urban use.
Until quite recently, SUVs over 2500 kg at their “maximum laden mass” were excluded from mandatory EU pedestrian protection standards. These exemptions have now been phased out, but in 2014 the Macan may have benefited from such an exemption as its maximum laden mass was listed as 2510 kg.
Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of ETSC said: “Pedestrians and cyclists now represent a higher proportion of those dying on our roads simply because vehicle safety measures have so-far mainly prioritised those inside the vehicle. When we look at how to make urban areas safer, requiring vehicles that enter residential areas to have a high minimum standard of pedestrian and cyclist protection and technology such as Automated Emergency Braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection might be a smart option for cities to consider. We are now used to urban centre restrictions on certain cars because of air quality concerns, why not also for cars that represent an unreasonable danger to vulnerable road users?”
Image credit: Vauxford