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Last updated on March 6th, 2018 at 12:30 am
“I’d been planning to buy a Humvee to celebrate the Kyoto ratification,�? writes Bob Black, of Edmonton, Canada. “But now I want one of these.�?
Just don’t drive it in North Sydney, Bob, or you’ll be paying a fortune:
North Sydney Council last night voted to introduce a sliding scale for parking permits which will double fees paid by drivers of large 4WDs – including Jeep Grand Cherokees and Mitsubishi Pajeros – and large eight cylinder cars from $44 to $88.
And if the family owns a second 4WD, it will have to pay the council $200.
Owners of smaller, more economical vehicles, will be paying less under the plan, to be implemented within six months.
Writes contributor (and North Sydney resident) Alan R.M. Jones: “My car (a Landrover Discovery) doesn’t take up a square inch more room on the road than a Holden Commodore or station wagon. Nor would a Jeep Cherokee or most other 4WDs. It’s well maintained and doesn’t pollute – the way a lot of poorly maintained smoky old hippy wagons do. Why should these dingbat social engineers be allowed to get away with this tax?�?
See, first they take away our guns …
UPDATE. NSW Premier Bob Carr opposes a 40 kmh speed limit for central Sydney—because the Federal government (ferociously anti-immigrant, according to some) is running a mass immigration policy:
The city has got to be kept moving, the federal government is running a mass immigration policy that brings a thousand people a week into the city and that’s putting pressure on it.
- Don’t drive itin parts of Melbourne either.
- as per steve68 comments,I just picked up my new Territory this week, but got the rear wheel drive version only. It looks like the 4WD, it drives like the 4wd but it isnt.
So by the definition of the all powerful council, I will like to see them try to charge the same amount for these variants.
What about the XR6 turbo, same power as the SS V8?
Boy I like my new toy!
- What? According to Bob Carr – who doesn’t drive – we need a higher speed limit in central Sydney to keep all those Howard people-imports moving.
Since when could you even reach 40kph in central Sydney? Maybe in some parts at 4AM.Posted by Hamish McFootpath on 02/15 at 06:55 PM • permalink
- Why does Mr Jones need a Landrover in North Sydney? Has the council not been doing road maintenance properly? Are the potholes so huge that you need a 4WD to get past them? Does he enjoy the thrill of wondering whether the next left or right hand turn will be the one to put him into a roll? Is he kind of interested in maybe one day seeing what a family sedan and its occupants look like once his urban assault vehicle has smashed them up? Does he like making the drivers behind wait as he crawls away from traffic lights? Or is it just that he really enjoys being able to see so much from way up there where he sits and knowing that his great clunky box is blocking everyone else’s view? How I loathe having to share city roads with those behemoth status symbols.
Why does Mr Jones need a Landrover in North Sydney?
Mr. Jones may be hauling gear or a half-dozen kid footballers or his family with all their vacation stuff. He’d need a freight car to haul your sense of indignation.
Does he enjoy the thrill of wondering whether the next left or right hand turn will be the one to put him into a roll? Is he kind of interested in maybe one day seeing what a family sedan and its occupants look like once his urban assault vehicle has smashed them up?
You seem to know Mr. Jones pretty well based on your presumptuous assessment of his driving skills.
Does he like making the drivers behind wait as he crawls away from traffic lights?
Many of these larger vehicles sport V-6 or V-8 engines and have more hop off the line than a passenger car. Besides, you wouldn’t want him flooring it the instant the green hit his retina, would you? Might be dangerous for all the responsible, sober folk driving used grey Volvos.
Or is it just that he really enjoys being able to see so much from way up there where he sits and knowing that his great clunky box is blocking everyone else’s view?
Naturally, the public transportation’s buses take up so much less space, and have so much more acceleration from zero-to-sixty.
How I loathe having to share city roads with those behemoth status symbols.
You have the advantage of him. You can see and judge from the outward appearance, while he can’t tell by looking at you what a tosser you are.
- Janice, can you please help me understand how a 4wd is a status symbol? I always believed branding portrayed status.
Does a 1980 Toyota Landcruiser come under you hate vitriol?
By your mentality, if you drove a “Smart” car, a standard passenger car would be a “behemoth” on the road,if you rode a motorcyle, you would describe a “Smart” car as a “bohemoth” compared to you.
If you rode a pushbike. a motorcyle would be a “bohemoth”. Would you like the Govt. to only import/regulate production of one type of car so we are all even on the road?
- “Why does Mr Jones need a Landrover in North Sydney?”
More to the point, who the hell put you in charge of what people are allowed to drive? I missed the memo appointing a new vehicle tsar.
And of you don’t like name calling, don’t come here crapping on somebody else’s choice of vehicle, you smug snactimonious asshole. And I mean that most sincerely.Posted by Steve Skubinna on 02/15 at 08:12 PM • permalink
- Out of respect for the Kyoto ratification, the Drilling Rig I’m on, has stopped drilling for Oil.
On the weekend when I get home, I’m going to cut up my XR-8 and recycle it into Toyota Eco’s.
My Landcruizer is going in the bin, and I’m going to start eating nothing but tofu.
Now where are my hemp sandals and heshian bag clothes.Posted by deadparrot on 02/15 at 08:23 PM • permalink
- That truck’s OK, but a bit effeminate; what you really want to lay waste to a local government area are any of these. I’m particularly taken with the idea of tying Bob Carr (and assorted Nth Sydney aldermen) to the rear ‘guard of a Munch Mammoth and taking them for a scrape around several blocks. Local government is even more retarded than state governments, and in dire need of having major restrictions placed on their powers.
- I wonder what BS wanted to say.
Anyway—gee Janice, you sure are an angry person. Maybe instead of sitting and fuming because the world doesn’t cater entirely to your wants and needs you could do something more constructive with your time.
By the way, it is the attitude of people like you that has been partly responsible for my decision to purchase a Jeep Cherokee as soon as I am able. By the way, the worst drivers (from my experience) aren’t people in large SUVs and trucks, but silly females who think they can drive, apply makeup, talk on their cell phone, and change out a cd all at the same time.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/15 at 09:45 PM • permalink
- Especially in Hyundai Exels- the Volvo of the white trash Y chromosome carrier. The next one I see with its rear fog lamp on I will attack from my motorcycle with a meat-axe, Hugh Keays-Byrne style.
- I have a car the size of a Civic that has been averaging 16 mpg this winter, which places it well into Suburban or H2 territory, but no one hassles me. Why? I think it has to do with size and visibility, but I don’t know. Got a problem with that Janice? It’s every bit as bad for the environment as an H2, but it’s nondescript and invisible to you. Won’t roll over. Whaddya think?
How about my brother, who drives a minivan so he can haul his wheelchair around? It blocks your view just as much as any SUV. Got a problem with him getting himself around? Should he be penalized because he needs capacity? Do you want to serve on some sort of board that decides who needs capacity or not?
The controversy is always framed as a safety issue or gas/emissions issue, but vitriol from anti-SUV types runs deeper than that and it remarkably uniform. It’s a psychological phenomenon that could probably be isolated and predicted by testing. Something visceral is triggered in these people.
It’s their choice, end of story, and I can’t know if it makes sense for them or not. Let it go, Janice, it’s not that big a deal.Posted by Matt in Denver on 02/15 at 10:34 PM • permalink
- I would like to take issue with those of you who are replying to Janice in such a rude, ill-reasoned manner.
In the first place, we of a “conservative” political/social persuasion often bemoan the knee-jerk reaction of lefties in calling us “fascists” and “Nazis” at the drop of a hat, and with good reason. So it is disappointing to see people such as Habib and Sheriff resorting to exactly the same inane tactics.
In the second place, there is no reason to suspect that Janice is any more left-leaning than the rest of us, as far as I can tell. Without wishing to speak for her, it seems to me that she merely recognizes that valuing freedom highly does not mean supporting the right of others to behave exactly as they wish when their actions do harm to others. In the language of economics, Janice is merely expressing the view that large 4WDs (and I assume she means 2.5 tonne behemoths such as Toyota Landcruisers, Nissan Patrols etc.) in urban environments impose real, serious costs (known as “externalities”) on the rest of us. I agree with her, and there is ever more evidence being presented all the time that is consistent with these beliefs.
From a technical point of view, large 4WDs are glorified trucks, with antiquated chassis design, poor handling, long stopping distances (due to excessive weight) and a pronounced tendency to roll over (due to high centre of gravity). Therefore, even under the heroic assumption that their drivers behave no more irresponsibly than the rest of us, they are destined to be involved in more accidents – just today, there is an article in the SMH which reports they are involved in 20% more accidents per kilometre travelled.
But don’t worry, you 4WD lovin’ guys, because it turns out that the people you kill in your ill-conceived, ill-designed monsters won’t be you – the data is unambiguous that you will most often kill the person in the car/bike/whatever that you crash into. This is a striking example of what economists mean by “externalities”. As are the following – when I want to exit my parking space at the shopping centre but can’t do so safely because I can’t see past the Nissota Landtroll next to me. When I want to turn left at an intersection, but can’t do so safely because I can’t see past the Nissota Landtroll next to me. When I want to be a competent driver who monitors the road situation up ahead, but can’t because I can’t see past the Nissota Landtroll ahead of me. And so on.
So why do people in cities want to drive these fundamentally ill-designed, anti-social behemoths that impose significant costs on the rest of us? Well, psychology research etc. suggests that it is probably because they are self-absorbed, irresponsible people with no regard for the wellbeing of others, and with personality problems to boot. In the case of males, it is a macho power thing, liking to sit up high in the biggest, heaviest monster they can find and lord it over the rest of us. In the case of women, it is often a mistaken paranoia over children etc. and wanting to keep them safe – a kind of nesting thing.
So, in my humble opinion, Janice is expressing consistent “conservative” principles – live your life how you wish but don’t think you have the right to injure others – whilst the rest of you are displaying serious inconsistencies of principle and belief.
- What a load of high-flown crap, BS. And I drive a Volvo. So analyse that.
Habib, that vehicle looks like my mother’s steam iron from the ‘fifties.
I quite like this (the one on the right) but it’s a bit slow, max. speed 2mph, but I doubt it ever reached that.
Honda CRV, Nissan X-Trail, Subaru Forrester.
All less than A$35,000 on the road.
Status symbols? You’ll be telling us Holden Commodores and Ford Falcons are status symbols next!
And how is an extra $44 a year (12 cents a day) going affect the cars people choose to drive.
And the good people of North Sydney thought Ted Mack was a tad idealistic.
(FTR I drive a Peugeot 206 and having booked it in for its six month service this morning, I have to wonder why I bother!).
- More trumped-up, self-important, egocentric, power-mad, semi-intelligent twats who think they have a God-given right to tell other people what they can and can’t do based on their personal likes and/or dislikes. And oh, gosh what a surprise to see fruitloop Harold Scruby’s name linked with this—NOT!
This will join the attacks on bullbars, driving lights, jetskis, swimming pools (a council over here actually made one family empty and deflate their kids’ blow-up splasher pool—because it didn’t have a frigging fence around it!), fast food, smoking, drinking, TV advertising, fishing, firearms ownership, getting old (God forbid!), motorcycles, quads, the Australian flag, camping (now illegal in WA, except at designated camping or caravan parks) and caravanning, boating, access to National Parks, taking photographs (try it at Bondi!), Christmas, copying your own CDs … whatever!
Well all these little neo-Nazis can kiss my hairy white bum. My 4WD has a 220hp motor and will run from 0 – 100 in a bee’s dick under 10 seconds on PULP or a bir slower on just ULP. It has constant 4WD, ABS and traction control. It gives me ~14.5 L per 100 km around town and 11-12 L per 100 km on the highway. And for those who say they can’t see past 4WDs, here’s a little tip—get off our arses! The reason you can’t see is because you’re too bloody close! Drop back and you can see around anything. God I hate Excels.
(Kicks soapbox back under desk before boss sees it, pops two Bex and looks for somewhere for a lie-down.)
- BS, are you outraged when a cement mixer or a school bus blocks your turn view? They have been around longer than SUVs.
Sure they smack cars pretty hard, but the choice to purchase these legal products reflects the buyer’s belief in passive safety–that accidents happen and they perceive these to be safe. They are wrong but that’s the motivation. Don’t like it? Get a car that’s actively safe–one that handles well and is fast, with good brakes. You’ll improve your odds well against SUVs.
In the US, SUVs were a market-driven response to fuel economy laws that wiped out large station wagons. Families need/want big cars, and whether SUVs or minivans, they’re the same thing to me in my car, regardless of broad-brush driver psychographics.
You bring up decent points. Bumper height coordination would do more than a petty little fine, though.Posted by Matt in Denver on 02/15 at 11:15 PM • permalink
- I only call people nazis when they clearly are- wanting to dictate to others how to behave. How would the council handle this bugger, which will be here in a few weeks (should have been here sooner, but global warming has caused it to snow in Georgia). You could fit a Discovery in the bloody glovebox, and it is slightly less fuel efficient than a F111- it is clearly missing a mashed bicycle as a grille ornament, however- something that will have to be immediately remedied. BS- since when does someones else’s choice of conveyance cost you- have you been asked to kick in for Alan Jones’ rego? In fact drivers of Rover products subsidise others- the V8 versions (especially older ones) have smaller engines than most other large cars, yet pay V8 rates.
- I’ve no real idea what you drive, billy-ray, didn’t ask you, don’t care and am not judging you. It seems from your post that you might have volunteered it to be a 1980 Landcruiser – hope not for your sake. Then again, you would certainly be able to appreciate my comments about antiquated chassis, fundamentally poor design for sealed roads, evil handling and so forth.
By the way, in terms of the “point” you were making to Janice, is it not reasonable to assume that what is considered to be a “standard passenger car” would be the type of car that constitutes the majority of road traffic? So clearly, at this stage, that is medium to large passenger cars. It is thus quite reasonable to judge what is a “bohemoth” (BTW, most words have only one correct spelling) according to this standard.
- So why do families need bigger cars these days? Two words BS, you college student: car seats. When I was a kid I rode in the back of my dad’s Colony Park wagon and could stand up in it the thing–it was a rolling playroom with fine wood paneling. Now kids are required to be in car seats. I can fit my two kids in my Volvo V40, but not in my car. If I had three kids, I would need a van or SUV. Them’s externalities for ya.Posted by Matt in Denver on 02/15 at 11:19 PM • permalink
1. I really think you should lose the “Nazi” thing – it is just silly in this context and does you no credit. I have read posts of yours before and found them extremely funny and provocative – you don’t need to demean yourself in this way to make your points.
2. “since when does someones else’s choice of conveyance cost you” – It costs me in terms of increased probability of death or injury to myself and my loved ones, and higher expected value of property damage to my cars. It also costs me in terms of my own third party registration costs – someone has to pay for the additional accidents 4WDs cause. This should have been obvious to you had you read my comments about “externalities” and thought about them.
3. “In fact drivers of Rover products subsidise others- the V8 versions (especially older ones) have smaller engines than most other large cars, yet pay V8 rates.” I’m not totally sure what point you are making here, but it seems to be about the environmental costs of 4WDs. In my opinion, environmental costs are probably the least of the problems 4WDs impose on the rest of us. Assuming goods like fuel, tyres and so on are priced properly so as to reflect their true costs of production, including environmental costs, then 4WD owners are paying for the privilege of using up these resources. On the other hand, I doubt that all relevant costs are being paid by 4WD owners – they should have to pay higher registration fees etc (to reflect the fact that they wear roads out faster), higher insurance premiums (to pay for the carnage they cause), higher third party insurance (ditto), higher Medicare and other taxes (to pay for the health care costs of the carnage they cause) and so on.
- Matt in Denver
Here in Australia we have many family cars that can fit 5 in comfort. According to the thousands of TV shows from your country that I have seen over the years, I’m guessing that the USA also has large (!) family cars for sale. And for the minority who need more than that (you may not have noticed, but fertility rates are very low in the modern Western world), I have “Two Words” to say to you, too – People Movers. Far more practical and economical than a Nissota Landtroll, cheaper and safer for you, safer for me, kinder to “the environment” and so on. Won’t help your feelings of masculinity though, in fact probably the reverse.
Also, do you seriously expect me to believe that your family of 4 won’t fit in your “car”? As for the “ BS, you college student” comment – I wish!
“BS, are you outraged when a cement mixer or a school bus blocks your turn view? They have been around longer than SUVs.” Well, no, of course not, and this is typical of some of the petty points being made on this subject (“How about my brother, who drives a minivan so he can haul his wheelchair around?”, for example). Cement mixers and buses are a small minority of all road traffic, have a clear purpose for their existence, and are not expanding on our roads at a prodigious rate. 4WDs, on the other hand, are clearly impractical in the urban environment but are nevertheless exploding, saleswise. They are now about 20-25% of all new registrations in Australia, and I believe it is more like 50% in your country. It was nothing like that 10-15 years ago.
See my above post to Habib for some of the reasons (I think I gave some in my original as well). But since I don’t seem to be communicating with you too well, I’ll try and summarize. 4WDs kill innocent people unnecessarily. These people believe this to be a real cost to them.
As for your other point – “Thats real costs not probable, expected and assumed costs” (sic), I’m guessing you have never done a course in introductory statistics or the like. The point I was making, however, is that I don’t know whether I will ever suffer personally as a result of other people’s fetish for these “bohemoths” – it is only valid for me to speak probabilistically on this issue, and refer to expected, rather than certian, outcomes and costs. But I do know what will be true, on average, across a large population – 4WDs WILL cause a lot of REAL costs to lots of REAL people, costs that would have been avoided if 4WDers had made a more sensible and considerate choivce of vehicle>
- From my windshield, I don’t see a difference between minivans and SUVs, other than your tiny-penis vitriol. I would prefer a minivan personally because they are faster, handle much better and are roomier.
If you had ever seen a booster seat or baby seat, you would know that each requires two LATCH fittings with no sharing, and that means capacity for only two in a 5 passenger car, even an Audi A8L. So that means 2 kids in a 5 passenger car, max. Is that clear? Since certainly no one would ever reproduce with a fuckwit like yourself, you’ll have to take my word for it because you’ll never see a child seat.
And my brother uses one of your environmentally friendly earth safe minivans to haul his wheelchair around. And still blocks your view, asshole. My point is that you don’t get to decide for other consumers, and that’s good.
You might READ my post before being such a jackass. Sorry I thoughtfully responded to your comments.Posted by Matt in Denver on 02/16 at 12:19 AM • permalink
- Boy, I really regret wondering what BS (great choice of initials, by the way!) was trying to say. I now think this was his best post.Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/16 at 12:45 AM • permalink
- Seriously, why should we hate people for what they drive? The amount of energy people put in to rationalizing their digust for SUVs and their drivers is just breathtaking.
There are SO many better things to hate people for. Like the content of their character… dirty little judgmental turdcakes.
If it weren’t for the fact that I don’t particularly LIKE SUVs and I’d hate to have to park one, I’d go buy me a Hummer just to contribute to the early cornaries of the social class that froths around their bumpers like angry poodles. I’d drive that big fuckin’ monster one mile to work and one mile back each day, with the AC raging and never leaving second gear.
I’d probably still use up less of our precious resources than BS’s vehicle of choice. Dude obviously spends WAY too much time on the roads. Stop killing our earth, BS
- I hate bicycle nazis. When they start paying rego and insurance and have to staple a plate to their lycra-clad bums they’ll get respect and roadspace from me.
And anyone who drives a Kombi van should be given an injection of air in their carotid artery.
- “Bicycle nazis. I hate those guys.”Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/16 at 01:28 AM • permalink
- Small cars kill a lot of people unnecessarily.
So do cigarettes, alcohol, sniffing glue, etc.
BS, you’ve missed the point completely, and you won’t answer thew key question: What gives you the right to dictate what other people drive?
All the other ‘points’ you have made are irrelevant without answering this question.
If these totalitarian measures are so natural to you that you didn’t see the question, you don’t belong in Australia.
- Well, when I asked BS for some real costs all I got was BS, and rude, ill-reasoned BS it was too.
The reason that the Council took this action was “all about fuel consumption (and) the greenhouse rating of the vehicle”, not about 4WDs. They are experts on greenhouse gases.
I guess the BS’s of the world want me to buy 2 cars, the 4WD for recreation/work and a little hybrid pocket rocket for the urban killing fields. I cant see a little pocket rocket successfully and safely pulling a horse float, carrying water, firewood, tractor implements etc in rough terrain but I guess the BS’s of the world could easily recommend a course that would explain this to me.
- Pompous blowhards like BS are far too common here in California, but in an act of supreme hypocricy, state legislators, concerned that the increasing popularity of Hybrids and other fuel-efficient cars might cut into fuel tax revenues, are contemplating taxing motorists by the mile. Woohoo!
Dangerously aggressive driving involves all types of vehicles, although where I live, pick-up truck drivers seem to be the worst.
At the risk of incurring the wrath of my fellow Blair fans, I’d like to point out that I’ve been involved in 7 automobile accidents in the last 25 years (only one of which was my fault—the first one), and the only time I was injured was as a passenger in an SUV.Posted by Spiny Norman on 02/16 at 04:49 AM • permalink
- I have a sneaking sympathy for some of the points bs makes about the frustration with trying to look around a 4WD in traffic when for example, you’re in the next lane.
But then I also resent having to share a lane with push bikes and getting stuck behind lawn mowers masquarading as small cars on steep hills. None of these things I find ever get the same attention as 4WD’s though, and to me that just smacks of PC intolerance and bigotry. I just take a deep breath and relax, bs should do the same.
- 4WD bashing is a symptom of “Battery Chook Syndrome”, which parallels the behaviour of penned in and frustrated battery chickens.
Being driven mad by the daily stress of the rat run to work, drivers of insignificant little shitboxes lash out at the 4WD people.
Drivers of vacuous “upmarket” designer (bauhaus?) statements sometimes realise that they have been sold an expensive and impractical pup, and that they’d really prefer to be in something more useful and macho than the car which was voted Gay Car Of The Year.
Such unthinking viciousness completely negates the oft heard platitudes about freedom of speech and choice in a western democracy.
Oh, the wonder of it all – imagine a world where all cars were the same shape and size!
How orderly it would be. And nobody gets hurt?
Socialism starts like this.
- i’m not a big 4WD/SUV fan but if you want to drive one thats fine. just dont hassle me about my daily driven car that gets 5MPG on track days, has 12.5:1 compression and only runs on AVGAS. who said LEAD was DEAD?Posted by Deo Vindice on 02/16 at 06:42 AM • permalink
- This tax has nothing to do with greenhouse (or as I call it, hot air) gases. Like the taxes on alcohol, cigarettes & poker machines, it is all about revenue raising on products with inelastic demand wrapped in a fig leaf of social concern. North Sydney council knows that people will not give up their 4WD’s over a $200 tax, any more than smokers will stop smoking just because the tax on ciggies goes up.
I no longer own a car thanks to living in a dense area well-served by 24-hour public transport, and working in the CBD, and being ripped off mercilessly by mechanics & insurance companies & speed cameras & tolls & proliferating parking meters, and being sick of subsidising islamic terrorists & whiplash “sufferers”. But when I did, the minor irritations of 4WD’s paled into insignificance compared with the murderous rage induced by pushbike riders who block an entire lane of a congested arterial road in peak hour traffic, and then overtake at the next set of lights the cars that had previously & painstakingly overtaken them. I sympathise to some degree with 4WD haters, but on the other hand 4WD’s are much better than small cars at ensuring that pushbike riders don’t return from their hospital beds after an accident to resume their blockage of peak hour traffic. Talk about externalities.Posted by Jim Geones on 02/16 at 08:40 AM • permalink
- This is my first time commenting, but I am surpised to learn that my 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee that cost less than $10k(US) and is constantly plagued by electrical problems is a status symbol, and couldn’t let it slide.
Frankly, I discovered last night, it’s not even a good family car. We’re expecting our 2nd child tomorrow, and last night I installed the infant child car seat, required by law. Since we’re still required to have the toddler seat for our 3 year old, it was quite a trick getting them both in the back seat. The toddler seat has been behind the passenger seat because of my husband’s long legs. He’s 6 foot, which is really an average height I believe. But since the infant seat won’t fit there at all, it was moved to the passenger side, and now my toddler won’t have any room for his legs behind the driver’s seat and will be kicking my husband constantly I’m sure. No, the middle seat cannot be used, because the two car seats won’t fit right next to eachother.
Guess we’ll have to move on to a Suburban or Hummer.
- Wow, I step out for a day, and look at all of this! I’m heartened. By the look of it, there are still plenty of independent-minded, self-reliant citizens who reject the state-knows-best meddling of modern bureaucracy.
Jim Geones pulled back the wizard’s curtain; of course it’s about the money. SUVs are the new tobacco, a cash crop too profitable to outlaw.
Janice, if your only possible reply to my demolition of your position is “Ooh, name calling” – without even a cosmetic attempt at rebuttal – why did you bother?
BS – you offered facts and some argument, and that’s a step up from Janice. She wasn’t making an economic argument of any sort, she called SUV’s “urban assault vehicles” with which she “loathed sharing the road.” That is emotive, not rational. But I’m confused because you move quickly from ‘externalities’ to unflattering psychological profiles of SUV drivers and the characterization of the vehicles themselves as ill-designed and anti-social. What did I miss?
- Nightfly, I wrote, Oooh. Name calling. because that’s essentially what your original post boiled down to. I didn’t offer any argument because I’d already linked to one paper but here’s another from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau for you to read if you want. It offers interesting bits of information like this:
“the proportion of 4WDs that rolled over without a previous collision was over three times the proportion for passenger cars”, and
“In 4WD crashes involving multiple vehicles, passenger car occupants accounted for the largest proportion of fatalities (64 per cent). 4WD occupants accounted for the second largest but a significantly lower proportion of fatalities (18 per cent).”
Given just those facts, Andrea, don’t you think that “silly females who think they can drive, apply makeup, talk on their cell phone, and change out a cd all at the same time” who are behind the wheel of a 4WD would be significantly more dangerous to other road users than someone (male or female) who is doing the same things while driving, say, a Hyundai Excel?
But apart from all that what really interests me is the volume and frothiness of the abuse and paranoia that has been engendered just because I said I loathe (hate, detest, don’t like, whatever) sharing city roads with 4WDs. And you know what? I’m allowed to loathe it. I’m also allowed to say I loathe it. That does not equate to an attempt to take over the state apparatus and make everyone else do what I want. Those who feel otherwise should lighten up and get over themselves.
I do not believe in “social capital�? (not 100% sure what it even is, though I can probably figure it out). It is absolutely risible to call me a “dirty commie�? – everyone who knows me thinks I am the most “right wing�? person around. If you read my posts, you should realize that I try very hard to promote principles consistent with standard neoclassical microeconomics, which is frequently criticized by left wingers for its right wing, “pro-capitalist�? stance. But I repeat – in pursuing your legitimate self-interest, what makes you think you have the right to impose real costs on other people, such as death, injury and property damage?
- matt in denver
Boy, it doesn’t take much to strip away your veneer of civilization, does it!
“From my windshield, I don’t see a difference between minivans and SUVs, other than your tiny-penis vitriol. I would prefer a minivan personally because they are faster, handle much better and are roomier.” What vitriol? It is simply that I have read many times that 4WDs appeal to the male macho instinct, whilst males also tend to find People Movers emasculating. Seems pretty uncontroversial to me.
“Since certainly no one would ever reproduce with a fuckwit like yourself, you’ll have to take my word for it because you’ll never see a child seat.” Now THAT’S vitriol!
To address the 1.5 substantive points you make.
1. The difference between people movers and large 4WDs is simple. The former is designed to be compatible with other road traffic. When it hits a car, it does so low down, where the car has its sophisticated safety systems. The latter is not compatible with cars. When it hits you, it does so high up (eg in the side window) where the car is not designed to be hit. The people mover also has higher primary safety levels – it is not so top-heavy and weighs less, so it is less likely to roll and stops faster.
1.5 You kinda explain why a (young) family of 5 might need something a little bigger (assuming they have 3+ children who actually require a booster seat – pretty uncommon these days) but not your own family of 4.
- Janice: considering that Hyundai Excels weigh much more than the average baby carriage plus baby, I’d say that the difference in size really wouldn’t matter if said silly female driver were heading towards you at fifty miles per hour, which is the average speed silly females in my area drive in the streets (and the parking lots). A friend of mine was killed when her Saturn sedan was broadsided by one of the smaller sports cars (I think it was a Toyota MR2 but I can’t be sure) which was going about ninety miles per hour when it hit her. In the passenger side.
So no, your dislike of SUVs for their size isn’t all that rational; you simply hate them because they are big and they take up a lot of room when you are bored in traffic. We’ve all been there, we eventually got over it. I’m more afraid of being next to a big rig whose driver has been awake for twenty-two hours because he has a schedule to make.
And I’ll end this with—everyone take BS’s example! Don’t namecall—why stop there; go straight to accusing your opponents of murder and mayhem. It’s the fun way to argue!Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 02/16 at 08:01 PM • permalink
It’s not a matter of “dictating” what people drive. My question is – what gives you the right to endanger my safety, that of my family, and my property, just to indulge some incomprehensible fantasy that you need a 2.5 tonne behemoth to negotiate the streets of our cities? None of you rugged individualists have shown any desire to grapple with this simple question.
- Sheriff again,
“Small cars kill a lot of people unnecessarily.
So do cigarettes, alcohol, sniffing glue, etc.”
Can’t let this one go either (sigh).
Once again, it’s all about “externalities”. If you drink alcohol to excess, then as long as you don’t drive or behave badly to other people, I have no reason to care. However, you better be sure you have paid enough taxes on the booze to cover your resulting health care costs, because I am not interested in sudsidizing your behaviour. Ditto for glue sniffing. Smoking in public is a bit more problematic, since smoke is unpleasant to the rest of us and does impose externalities (eg spoiling my enjoyment of a meal at a restaurant). It may also be injurious to my health, although I think the evidence on passive smoking is probably overstated. So some degree of regulation is probably warranted on these grounds.
As for the comment about small cars causing unnecessary deaths, I am not sure what you mean, but it may refer to the fact that, other things equal, you are more likely to be killed or injured in a small car than in a larger one (?). If so, this is a positive externality from my point of view – your choice of a small car makes me safer. So, to be consistent, I would have to support this choice. Some might even wish to subsidize such a choice.
- rog 2,
“I guess the BS’s of the world want me to buy 2 cars, the 4WD for recreation/work and a little hybrid pocket rocket for the urban killing fields. I cant see a little pocket rocket successfully and safely pulling a horse float, carrying water, firewood, tractor implements etc in rough terrain but I guess the BS’s of the world could easily recommend a course that would explain this to me.”
Indeed I can. If you genuinely need a 4WD for regular performance of the tasks you mention, and you are prepared to pay the full price of your choice (including taxes/insurance whatever to cover the expected costs of the additional death/injury/property damage you are statistically likely to cause), then go for it! But in fact you are not required to do so, and are in fact being subsidized for your choice in many ways (it may fascinate our American readers to learn that 4WDs have always been artificially cheaper than other vehicles in Australia, due to lower import tariffs. Apparently, if you buy one, you are automatically assumed to be a farmer, so get a subsidy on your vehicle of choice. So the same govt that has to pick up much of the tab for the mayhem these 4WDs cause is actually egging us on to buy them in the first place!)
Also, you are simply being disingenuous if you are trying to imply that many or most 4WD owners actually “need” them for the reasons you specify. It has been established that the vast majority never get off good quality sealed roads, and most of the few that do do so only occasionally. I am confident that less than 1% of total 4WD mileage would be of the sort that you claim.
“BS – you offered facts and some argument, and that’s a step up from Janice. She wasn’t making an economic argument of any sort, she called SUV’s “urban assault vehicles�? with which she “loathed sharing the road.�? That is emotive, not rational. But I’m confused because you move quickly from ‘externalities’ to unflattering psychological profiles of SUV drivers and the characterization of the vehicles themselves as ill-designed and anti-social. What did I miss?”
Good point. The reason is that I think most people are basically nice and don’t want to inflict externalities on others. (there was a peripherally related article along these lines by Ross Gittins in the SMH yesterday, I think). Now, recent surveys such as one conducted by AAMI (an insurance company) suggest that most non-4WD owners loathe the things and want them off our roads. These surveys also suggest that 4WD owners know this, and are quite defensive about it (the reactions I have got from Tim’s blog seem to confirm this as well). So I am truly puzzled as to why people are choosing in such large and increasing numbers to buy 4WDs, given that it is beyond doubt that they don’t really need them, they are expensive to buy and run, are fundamentally antiquated in their design, have disastrously poor dynamics and primary safety levels and so on. Not to mention that they cause resentment (justified, in my opinion, I really can’t cop the notion that they can willy nilly increase the risk to me, my family and my property in using the roads) to most others.
Well, I have read many hypotheses as to why this is occurring, and most of them seem to stress the type of psychological factors you mention. Men find them macho, men like to feel king of the road and behave menacingly when they feel like it. Women think they are protecting their offspring by driving 4WDs. Men and women have fantasies of getting away from it all, back to nature in their 4WD. All those sorts of theories. Not my theories, mind, but ones I’ve heard to explain the phenomenon. I am also starting to suspect that maybe some 4WDers are, in fact, somewhat anti-social and seem to want to hurt and intimidate. Hope not.
- I don’t even own a 4WD, but did have a custom built Range Rover with a 5ltr TVR V8, quad SU carbies, a mid-lift cam, solid lifters and a 2 1/2 in big bore system, with comp spec brakes, TVR springs and DeCarbon shocks which was rather a wheeze- especially good for idiot safety-nazi inspired traffic calming, which could be completely ignored; certainly the 3PM massed corroboree of soccer moms in pristine bushwagons outside schools shits me if I’m stuck in the middle of the melee, but it’s not up to me to dictate what other people use as transport. i hate public transport, but don’t reccommend its banning (although I do reccommend its sale and conversion to a profitable exercise) and as a motorcyclist have grown to detest Volvos, old gits in hats and Morris Major Elites full of half-cut bowling biddies on their way home from a knees-up, but ignore them unless they try to turn me into a pavement pistache’. Shit- I’ve got a 2WD vehicle about to lob here which is heavier, more powerful and probably less stable than any modern 4WD, and it will be a hoot to drive, especially if I can find a snappy <a href=” http://www.backwardglances.com/images/pimp hat.jpg”>pimp hat</a> to go with it. If I really wanted to do damage to other road users, I’d go shopping here– a friend of mine had a Ferret Scout Car registered for road use, and it took a whole task force of coppers to pull him up on Coronation Drive when he was driving home as full as a doctors wallet. I’d personally go for the Hanomag sdkfz for urban use- fully tracked vehicles are a bitch to parallel park.
- “My question is – what gives you the right to endanger my safety, that of my family, and my property, just to indulge some incomprehensible fantasy that you need a 2.5 tonne behemoth to negotiate the streets of our cities?”
Any motor vehicle is dangerous.
“ None of you rugged individualists have shown any desire to grapple with this simple question.”
The question is beneath contempt. It only demonstrates your need to dictate to others.
You failed to balance your point about the ‘externalities’ of small cars with consideration of a lot of the people who drive them. Most young drivers drive small cars.
- just to indulge some incomprehensible fantasy that you need a 2.5 tonne behemoth to negotiate the streets of our cities..OK BS.
That did it.
You and Janice both.
You are so ready to get on your own high horse and bitch about other peoples’ mode of conveyance.
Do you realise how petty and small this makes you look?
Do you realise how irritating it is to be the recipients of this crap?
I have numerous family and business reasons for driving a capacious and capable vehicle apart from simply negotiating the streets.
I don’t have to justify it to you, and yet you pursue the topic ad nauseum.
Go ahead – illustrate for us one more time why we want to stand for a bit of self-determination in the face of schoolmaam’ish “this will all end in tears”.
Your social concerns come across as “control freak”.
Neither you nor anyone else has made any attempt to address my arguments. You are no better than the latte leftie who stridently asserts that I should pay taxes to subsidize his ticket to the opera.
I repeat once more – 4WDers do not pay the full cost of their choice of vehicle – they pass off some of these costs to third parties in a variety of ways. Rudely asserting that this is OK is the last refuge of socialist scoundrels.
“You failed to balance your point about the ‘externalities’ of small cars with consideration of a lot of the people who drive them. Most young drivers drive small cars.”
I have no idea whatsoever what point this is trying to make. It is about as comprehensible as the choice to drive a Nissota Landtroll
- Young drivers feature (too) prominently in the crash statistics.
If you didn’t know this, could you tell us which rock you’ve been living under?
There’s been a lot of talk about young drivers lately, perhaps you were on the can at the time?
BS, could you please itmeise the full costs of a 4WD, and exactly who pays.
Of course I know that young drivers are overrepresented in accident statistics. I just hadn’t figured out your fiendishly clever logic, which appears to be “young drivers also cause accidents, therefore large 4WDs are OK”. Still doesn’t sound right to me, but maybe you have more formal training in logic than I (professional philosopher, perhaps?).
As for itemizing the costs/who pays for 4WDs, good idea – I’ll give it some thought and get back to you when time permits.
- I don’t get Habib’s Hardware Hardon when it comes to carbys, suspension, metal and military appendages, but I’d really like a big 4WD so I can drive over median strips during traffic jams and to enable me to be much more creative in my parking. If I had to pay a little extra tax for this priviledge I wouldn’t mind. The money I’d save by being able to park in botanic gardens, replantings, nature strips and other imaginative locations would easily compensate.Posted by Hamish McFootpath on 02/17 at 09:23 PM • permalink
As well, they seem to be continuing to assist the ALP in making an arse of itself at every turn.
Why dont they get the message?
How to stay in Opposition indefinitely:
Keep on trying to embarrass the government and impress upon the voters that you care more about that than in guarding Australia’s best interests.