Oversize vehicles are a menace to pedestrians. What's the best response?

With all the damage oversize vehicles, such as SUVs and double-cab utes, cause, should they be banned altogether? That was the provocative question a journalist asked us recently for her article The case to ban SUVs. And the new End Urban SUVs campaign is also focused on this issue.

LSA isn't calling for an outright ban at this stage, because we can see some legitimate uses. But we are calling for their importation & use to be restricted. The continued growth in the size and weight of vehicles represents a threat to pedestrians, to our environment, and to other users of our streets in at least four ways:

  1. Bigger and heavier internal combustion engine vehicles use more fuel and therefore produce both more greenhouse gas emissions, and more particulate emissions that are harmful to other street users. Even building and powering electric SUVs is very wasteful of resources.
  2. Taller vehicles make it harder for drivers to see pedestrians (especially children), while heavier vehicles do more damage to pedestrians and cyclists on impact than lighter vehicles travelling at the same speed.
  3. Having wider vehicles in lanes makes street space reallocation towards walking and cycling more difficult, disincentivising these more climate-friendly activities.
  4. The prospect of having to contend with larger, heavier vehicles when crossing streets and driveways puts people off walking. In particular, it puts parents off allowing their children to walk to school.

We think the maximum size and weight of SUVs that can be imported into the country should be capped, and their use restricted in urban areas. We're developing a more detailed policy proposal to put to Government.

What's your view about SUVs and other oversize vehicles - ban, regulate, or open slather?

Region (NZ): 

About Us

Living Streets Aotearoa is the New Zealand organisation for people on foot, promoting walking-friendly communities. We are a nationwide organisation with local branches and affiliates throughout New Zealand.

We want more people walking and enjoying public spaces be they young or old, fast or slow, whether walking, sitting, commuting, shopping, between appointments, or out on the streets for exercise, for leisure or for pleasure.

JOIN US and help with our campaigns