Up a gear

Published: Friday 31 December 2004

-- Suv Health Warning uk

The campaign against sport utility vehicles (suvs) stepped up a gear this week. uk thinktank, the New Economics Foundation (nef), declared suvs should come with tobacco-style health warnings, while London Mayor Ken Livingstone wrote an open letter to the uk transport minister Tony McNulty, urging greater duties to be imposed on suvs and pedestrian safety measures to be improved. The nef proposal aims to change personal behaviour and help combat the health and environmental impacts of suvs. " suvs are dangerous, fabulously polluting and part of a wider transport problem that is, according to the World Health Organization, set to be the world's third most common cause of death and disability by 2020, ahead of tb, hiv and war," says nef's policy director Andrew Simms.

In the us, one in four cars sold is an suv. In London -- hardly off-road steep terrain -- suvs already account for one in seven of all new car sales. In Delhi's congested streets gas-guzzling 4 X4 numbers are steadily climbing. uk Liberal Democrat shadow environment secretary Norman Baker vociferously supports the campaign: "The biggest challenge is to help urban communities realise 4x4s are a real danger.

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