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Owners are behaving in an anti-social manner. The Deflators provide time to reflect on the error of their ways.

Anti-SUV Campaign: a Lot of Hot Air is Repaid With a Loss of Air

I was chuffed to hear about the group of Paris campaigners against four-wheel-drive vehicles, who call themselves the Deflators (Les Dégonflés). They are going around letting down the tyres of four-wheel-drive vehicles (SUVs), a campaign that has been stepped up since the local authorities wimped out of banning the monsters from the city.

SBS reports: “The group has promised to make a video of its tyre strikes available on the Internet within the next month with the aim of inspiring the same action in other French cities.”

Now I can hear all the complaints now:

1. That must be illegal.
No, according to a report on BBC Radio Five yesterday (not on the web), it isn’t, since no damage is caused. (Legal note: This is the case under French law; it may not be the case elsewhere.)

2 You’re inconveniencing “innocent” people.
Oh no they’re not – these are people behaving in a thoroughly anti-social manner. Society is entitled to extract a penalty from them for that. Teenagers who behave in an anti-social manner are forced to spend their weekends picking up litter; having to pump up your tyres and not being able to get where you wanted to go instantly might provide a good time for a little reflection on your behaviour.

As one blogger puts it: “La guerre du macadam est ouverte.”

In case you still don’t realise how bad they are, from yesterday’s Guardian:

“4x4s are responsible for 43% more greenhouse emissions and 47% more pollution than the average car. You are 27% more likely to die if you are hit by a 4×4 than by an ordinary car. But, bizarrely, you are also 6% more likely to die if you are an occupant of a 4×4, because 4×4 drivers, feeling invulnerable, drive faster.”

More about Paris anti-4×4 campaigns (in French) here. The British campaign, as yet rather more restrained, is here.

About Natalie Bennett

Natalie blogs at Philobiblon, on books, history and all things feminist. In her public life she's the leader of the Green Party of England and Wales.

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