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Old 08-24-2005, 06:21 AM   #46
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
To turn a common phrase used in political discussion "if you don't like SUV's, don't buy one".

Is it safe to leave the issue there?


no. because people have to deal with the effects of SUVs, just some of which are:

1. increased gas consumption = more money to bad people in the Middle East
2. wider roads -- eats up more open space
3. less room on narrow roads -- if you live in an East Coast city built in the 18th or 19th century, you'll know what i mean
4. while being in an SUV is safer if you're in an accident, being in an accident with an SUV and you're *not* in one is much more dangerous

so one's decision to drive an SUV has adverse consequences for all of us, especially those not inside the SUV.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:01 AM   #47
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Well, all of our behaviors have some affects on society. Some we choose to measure, some we don't.

Without discounting the affects you list, they are not exclusive to SUVs and do not cause such a material affect that would support banning SUVs.

Now, I have no particular fondness for SUVs. I happen to drive an old Ford Explorer (given to me by a friend after my little SAAB died). I'd say we will need to see gasoline over $5/gallon (still cheaper than Europe) before there is significant change in US driving habits.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:14 AM   #48
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Well, all of our behaviors have some affects on society. Some we choose to measure, some we don't.

Without discounting the affects you list, they are not exclusive to SUVs and do not cause such a material affect that would support banning SUVs.

Now, I have no particular fondness for SUVs. I happen to drive an old Ford Explorer (given to me by a friend after my little SAAB died). I'd say we will need to see gasoline over $5/gallon (still cheaper than Europe) before there is significant change in US driving habits.


i don't think the banning of SUVs is at all practical, but there are very easy ways to either discourage their use, encourage the buying of hybrid cars, and encourage public transportation.

we can require that SUVs not be classified as trucks, but as cars, and force the manufacturers to meet minimum miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency standards (and we can raise this for all cars).

we can provide tax breaks for people who purchase more environmentally sound cars; the converse, something akin to the "sin tax" we have on cigarettes, can be applied to the SUV.

public transportation is a bit of a bigger problem and more complex, but i think we all agree that it's a good thing and should be encouraged.

while these things are not limited to SUVs, SUVs are certainly the most obvious abusers of American car culture, and on a symoblic level, they are a reason "why they hate us." the seem so needless and unnecessary (does one really need a Yukon to scale the mountains of Rancho Santa Fe?), and so symptomatic of needlessly wasteful resource consumption that plagues the United States and is tied to this Global War on Terror (sorry, Struggle Against Violent Extremism).

i think a truly savvy campaign would link reducing oil and gas consumption to patriotism. you know, real Americans drive hybrids.
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Old 08-24-2005, 08:19 AM   #49
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I just don't get it....Why drive an SUV? anyway???

I mean....they're ugly!!






















And that's a fact......not just my humble opinion...
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:03 AM   #50
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Another problem I have with 4x4s (as we call them) is the danger they are to pedestrians

Quote:
What makes 4x4s so dangerous to pedestrians?

· The point of impact on the body is higher if hit by a 4x4, meaning it is more likely to cause head and chest injuries, rather than leg and lower body injuries. This particularly applies to collisions involving children, due to the height of their head and chest.

· Generally a 4x4 is heavier, stiffer and shaped more bluntly than normal cars and is therefore likely to cause more damage on impact. Weight is a major factor in velocity.

· The threat to pedestrians (especially children) is increased due to the bull bars fitted on the front of many 4x4s [3]. From January 2006, it will be illegal to fit bull bars to your vehicle.

· The size and design gives drivers a restricted view of the area immediately surrounding the vehicle. This means that young children are particularly vulnerable, as it is less likely that the driver will see them. According to the American independent body Consumer Reports, the blind spot for a driver of average height in a large 4x4 vehicle can be up to 28 feet [4]. This is a particular danger when taking a 4x4 on the school run – a time when there are a high number of children on pavements and crossing roads – and when using a 4x4 for shopping and parking it in busy supermarket car parks where there are lots of families about.

· In safety tests, 4x4s generally perform very poorly in terms of pedestrian safety. Many models have been described as having dire protection to pedestrians. On the EuroNCAP website, EuroNCAP claims that SUV manufacturer Jeep says it did not attempt to incorporate pedestrian protection in the design of its 2003 Cherokee model. [5].
http://www.brake.org.uk/index.php?p=267

This website also discusses other issues raised in this thread, from a British perspective.
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:48 AM   #51
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My Honda CRX gets 45 mi/gal and I'm still frustrated with my gas expenses. I won't be buying an SUV anytime soon.


Buy a hybrid, and drive it with the lights off.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:12 PM   #52
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Very good thread.
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Old 08-24-2005, 06:32 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511




3. less room on narrow roads -- if you live in an East Coast city built in the 18th or 19th century, you'll know what i mean
Amen to that. Sometimes I worry about my Camry fitting on a lot of small roads on Cape Cod... But 32 mpg
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:07 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally posted by amerrydeath


Amen to that. Sometimes I worry about my Camry fitting on a lot of small roads on Cape Cod... But 32 mpg

just think of us carless pedestrians! i was almost taken out in a crosswalk by an SUV ... with a great big stinkin' "W" sticker on it ...

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Old 08-24-2005, 07:10 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by nickypiemcg
Never mind SUV's I bet alot of Americans own cars that they don't even need!
There may be some excessive use of personal vehicles in the United States, but the reality is that our government has never been big on "public transit."

Outside of the top 25 cities in the US, Public transit is sparse at best. And in many of these smaller cities, the services are losing funding due to lack of ridership. A lack of funding then leads to cuts in service.

In Detroit, where Autos are king, I believe that the public transportation system does not extend to the airport (meaning an super expensive taxi ride, or a car rental).
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Old 08-24-2005, 07:18 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
we can provide tax breaks for people who purchase more environmentally sound cars; the converse, something akin to the "sin tax" we have on cigarettes, can be applied to the SUV.
Some of the tax incentives already exist. In California, hybrids and electric cars are permitted to use the underutilized carpool lanes (2+ per vehicle) with a single occupant.

Sin taxes would be a harder sell, both for the manufacturers and the auto unions. I believe the expensive car surcharge has expired.


Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
while these things are not limited to SUVs, SUVs are certainly the most obvious abusers of American car culture, and on a symoblic level, they are a reason "why they hate us." the seem so needless and unnecessary (does one really need a Yukon to scale the mountains of Rancho Santa Fe?), and so symptomatic of needlessly wasteful resource consumption that plagues the United States and is tied to this Global War on Terror (sorry, Struggle Against Violent Extremism).
I see plenty of large SUVs in my area. Then again, everyone owns (almost everyone) a home worth $1 Million plus. When you have that kind of money, and your house payment is peanuts, cash flow goes right into lifestyle choices. And in California, the automobile is the way you display wealth.
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:05 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoney!

Outside of the top 25 cities in the US, Public transit is sparse at best.
Hell, even in some of those big cities it sucks.

And out in the middle of nowhere, where you really do need a vehicle, they drive reasonably practical trucks or sedans. Giant SUVs are seldom driven where they're shown in their ads.
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Old 08-24-2005, 09:21 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoney!


There may be some excessive use of personal vehicles in the United States, but the reality is that our government has never been big on "public transit."

Outside of the top 25 cities in the US, Public transit is sparse at best. And in many of these smaller cities, the services are losing funding due to lack of ridership. A lack of funding then leads to cuts in service.

In Detroit, where Autos are king, I believe that the public transportation system does not extend to the airport (meaning an super expensive taxi ride, or a car rental).
"The Geography of Nowhere" is a great, sarcastic look at how and why our country was built in order to rely on the car. I highly recommend it.

I have to drive to to take the train to school, which sort of defeats the whole purpose.
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:46 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
And in California, the automobile is the way you display wealth.
You should replace "wealth" with "your debt"
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:13 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


Some of the tax incentives already exist. In California, hybrids and electric cars are permitted to use the underutilized carpool lanes (2+ per vehicle) with a single occupant.

Sin taxes would be a harder sell, both for the manufacturers and the auto unions. I believe the expensive car surcharge has expired.




I see plenty of large SUVs in my area. Then again, everyone owns (almost everyone) a home worth $1 Million plus. When you have that kind of money, and your house payment is peanuts, cash flow goes right into lifestyle choices. And in California, the automobile is the way you display wealth.


well ... maybe in SoCal a car is the way you display wealth; most of the lefties i know in SanFran would rather die than be caught in a Hummer.



i think you're right about the attitudes towards SUVs in wealthy areas, but this is precisely an attitude that needs changing. America is nothing if not dynamic, and attitudes and choices can change quickly when presented as an option for the individual to make a difference -- i think if we did to SUVs what has been done to cigarettes, for example, you might have something of a cultural shift.

certainly carpool lanes and tax incentives are a great way to start; but you're right in that punishing people, via taxes, is not going to fly with the automotive industry given their immense lobbying clout in Washington DC.
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