A tax on people we don’t like

I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I find the Australia Institute’s latest effort (pdf) particularly irksome. It uses data from Roy Morgan to describe the drivers of four wheel drives as unusually aggressive, lacking in community mindedness and various other things.

Sometimes the data as quoted suggests this, and sometimes it barely does but much is made of relatively small differences. A good flavour of the paper is given by this extract.

40 per cent of city drivers of large 4WDs agree with the proposition that homosexuality is immoral, compared with just over a third (35 per cent) of Australians in general. Previous research by the Australia Institute makes it clear that men are more likely to agree with this statement than women (Flood & Hamilton, 2005). Among male drivers of 4WDs in the city, 51 per cent agree with the statement that homosexuality is immoral (compared to 43 per cent of men overall)

The final section ‘Some Implications” ends as follows.

The data reported in this paper suggest that there is a self-perception of ruggedness amongst the drivers of large 4WDs in the city. They are also more inclined to a conservative, individualistic point of view. This suggests that relying on the social conscience of large 4WD owners to change to safer, less aggressive vehicles may be less effective than mandatory measures such as special licences and high taxes.

I should say I’m quite happy with charging the drivers of 4WD whatever we take their external costs to be. I don’t drive one myself, but don’t find them irksome on the road. I also haven’t found their drivers more agressive than others as the paper reports (though it seems to report ‘opinion’ to this effect.)

The paradox for me is that if I encounter people who are aggressive and anti-social I dislike them intensely. And there is probably something in the paper’s stereotyping.

Yet for me, there’s something odious about the whole exercise. As a matter of political principle I think the stereotyping of groups of people like this is nasty and divisive. It reminds me of someone I knew in my student days who was against duck shooting. Not against eating the damn things, just didn’t like the idea and wanted to ban it. I felt quite sympathetic to her view then, but got talked round by some people I respected much more who thought the idea was that of a busybody and of a snob. That’s just the beginning of what I think about this paper I think it’s quite creepy. But I still can’t fully express why.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
39 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
sien
2022 years ago

Interestingly enough the car manufacturers have profiled their customers and found similar things.

This article from the New Yorker talks about the whole thing. ( URL http://www.gladwell.com/2004/2004_01_12_a_suv.html )

Whilst you have a point about stereotyping and so on it should be remembered that SUVs are something people choose. There is almost certainly something psychological and demographic in that choice. Cars are not just practical. There is a lot of psychology in what we buy.How many 65 year old women buy Subaru Imprezas for instance?

If someone was wearing a pro communist t-shirt surely you would classify them to some degree.

Rafe
2022 years ago

To hell with statistics, I know that the people in big 4WDs are uncaring roadhogs, but I thought that was just because they don’t see my little car.

Alan Green
2022 years ago

Thanks for the pointer. I like to think of myself as more liberal than not on social issues, and I’m sympathetic to the idea that there are too many four wheel drives on city roads, but this paper irks me too.

To summarise their position, four wheel drive owners are fat, technophobic, individualistic, morally conservative, hate aboriginals, are insecure and vain, feel rugged, use force to get things done, watch paradoxical marketing campaigns, like to be away from crowds, would rather the government didn’t pay social security and are more likely to go to church, and therefore we should tax four wheel drives off the road.

It’s almost as though the Australia Institute are saying that taking away a person’s four wheel drive will make them skinny, technology-loving, community-minded, liberal, diversity embracing, well-balanced, secure, prudent, conflict resolving, logical, city-loving, socially liberal atheists. Something in that list for everyone.

Surely the Australia Institute could have found better arguments for introducing “special licensing requirements” and taxes to encourage four wheel drive owners to use regular sized cars.

jen
jen
2022 years ago

Getting rid of a 4WD is expensive. I bought a 4L diesel Hilux ’99 in 2000 when I was working out bush. It was necessary. I came to town and decided to keep it because 4wd ing is fun. However, it is also a lifestyle choice when you live in town and a little risky when you are relatively inexperienced and on your own, as I was in town.

Thus the years went by and I flirted with selling my little ute, which is full of lifechanging memories. I’ll hang on to it because I wouldn’t be able to replace it with what I’d get for it, if I sold it.

So what about a gun buy back scheme for the uneconomic onroad offroad vehicles Johnny?

I’ll be in it all sentimental attachments aside.

You can have my 4WD ute and Ill get one that’s 2WD and cheerin’.

Returning to the topic, I wonder what the survey questions were?

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

If 4WD drivers are more likely to be reckless on the roads and get involved in accidents because the asymmetry in vehicles means that the other party is more likely to get hurt (as seems to be the case) then this externality would be a good enough reason for taxing them at higher rates if tort law can’t serve as an efficient deterrent. There’s no reason for the Institute to bring in this other stuff, sociologically interesting though it may be.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

It’s also instructive to analyse the advertising for 4WD’s. A few years ago Jeep had a poster of a Jeep Renegade pushing its way into a parking space and compressing the adjacent vehicles, with the caption: “Park anywhere you damn well like.”

This theme also appears in a current ad for a different brand, whose name I forget. It has the driver smoothing his way into a parking space at the beach, with adjoining cars gliding away to give him more room.

Toyota also used to have a TV commercial with a 4WD blindly overtaking a semi-trailer at high speed. Significantly, the vision went blurry and hyper at the overtake, correctly denoting the risk of a blind overtake, but implying that your 4WD would win in any collision with an oncoming car.

Over the past decade, almost all head-on crashes on high speed (country) roads seem to have involved a 4WD.

Vee
Vee
2022 years ago

Its easy don’t let people that live in suburban cities to own them unless they can prove they use them for their intended purpose – once a year.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

Turning to Nicholas’ post, I think he possibly does have a point in the way the survey was interpreted, given the examples he quotes.

However there’s an underlying truth that the findings resonate with. The survey, and the report, could have been stronger by identifying particular subsets among 4WD buyers and, more particularly, among buyers of aggressive 2-tonne and heavier vehicles.

But having said that, driving behaviour varies significantly between different regions of cities, between states, between city and country, and between different times of day and week. It is possible Nicholas only drives in sedate areas and thus has never experienced the worst of aggressive road behaviour.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

It’s that easy, is it?

Why don’t we also ban loud stereos, kites, golf clubs, skateboards, trailered boats, soccer balls, mobile phones and recycling bins?

After all, *I* don’t use any of the above things, and people that do are mostly dickheads. They also have caused me real or imagined inconvenience at some point in my life.

So why don’t we ban them?

Is it maybe because we are a free society?

As for Jason’s comment: Even If 4WD owners are more likely to be involved in accidents, that’s not necessarily the fault of the 4WD. It may simply be that bad drivers are more inclined to buy a 4WD.

In any case, the solution is obvious: Punish those who do cause accidents as the road traffic act already allows. Punishing 4WD owners who have never been involved in an accident (The vast majority of them btw) for the sins of others is bigoted and immoral.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

yobbo, fair crack of the sav! This is just a reflection on the Australian Institute survey and now Nic Gruen’s take on it.

There are a few problems with the presence of 4WDs among the passenger car fleet, and it’s fair enough to consider them. Especially if some of those problems result from preferential tax treatments.

Speaking as a 4WD owner who regularly does long trips.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

I was responding to Vee’s off-the cuff remark about how the solution was easy – ban them.

Only tradespeople and primary producers get preferential tax treatment on 4WDs, and these are presumably not the people who the luvvies are trying to prevent from owning them. (Of course, most of these fascist do-gooders would *really* like them to be banned outright, the tax is just the thin edge of the wedge. Remember when they first started to go after smokers?)

Bronwyn Bell
2022 years ago

I agree, Nicholas, stereotyping of groups can be divisive and nasty and in a better world the AI would not have to waste its time on a paper such as this. It is a wide-ranging analysis though and clearly sets out the data on which its interpretations are based. Any stereotyping that might occur is based on the evidence presented and not at the whim of the author.

Like it or not 4WDs are affecting us all and it is important to understand the psychology of the people who continue to buy them. With global warming bearing down on all of us, why should some in the community be able to burn fuel and pollute the nest at a disproportionate rate to the rest of us and with complete impunity?

LOCAL IDIOT
2022 years ago

FOUR WHEEL DRIVES ARE A GREAT PLAGUE INFECTED ON THE EARTH BY SATAN!!!1!! WHEN WILL A CHAMPION ARISE TO RID THE EARTH OF THIS HORRIBLE SCOURGE!

ALSO MY CATS BERATH SMELLS LIKE CAT FOOD

John Humphreys
John Humphreys
2022 years ago

yeah… what yobbo said. Except that yobbo does own a mobile phone ;p

I have never seen the AI come out with anything that actually supports the idea of people being free. They seem to have a very low opinion of humans.

If 4WD owners commit a real crime, then punish them. If they don’t, then don’t.

LOCAL IDIOT
2022 years ago

I own one but I rarely use it :) I really only bought it so I could make amateur porn using the digital video/camera. Unfortunately I forgot to take it to Thailand with me.

Robert Merkel
2022 years ago

Nicholas, I think the point of the paper is a valuable one; if four-wheel-drivers, as a group, have little social conscience, it’s pointless trying to appeal to it. Therefore, rather than trying to persuade them out of the goodness of their hearts to act in the interests of the community, we’re going to have to hit them in their wallets to make them do so.

It’s not any more obnoxious than pointing out that trying to convince teenagers that smoking is bad by pointing to old people with emphysema is a complete waste of time.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

John Humphreys and Yobbo
My point about tort law, though I didn’t expand on it, applies just as much to Yobbo’s ‘obvious’ solution that if 4WD drivers drive recklessly we just punish them for their conduct ex-post. Road laws can be modelled as just a publicly funded tort action. But as I argued *if* tort law is insufficient to efficiently align incentives to the optimal rate of accidents (and there may be various reasons for thinking this might be the case including the high costs of proving recklessness even if the driver genuinely was reckless, and generally the high administrative costs of this ex-post approach using lawsuits to align incentives) then there may be a theoretical argument for an ex-ante approach – i.e. using taxes. What you think of as ‘immoral’ or ‘bigoted’ is completely irrelevant to this calculus as is the argument that taxing 4WDs at a higher rate implies we ban everything remotely dangerous – that’s a non-sequitur. You guys seem perfectly happy to use economics when it suits you and then turn around and appeal to some extreme libertarian notion of morality that most people don’t accept when it doesn’t suit you.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

On the subject of enforcement, it is quite easy to escape the consequences of violent road behaviour. NSW requires that police file charges within six months, and it’s quite easy for a knowledgeable perpetrator to delay proceedings that long. Generally, they’re the same sort of people who delight in rorting the tax system or corporate law. I won’t explain the details here.

From my observation and discussion, I think about 20 percent of city 2-tonne 4WD drivers deliberately buy large vehicles for their ability to dominate other motorists, and a really dangerous subset of about 5 percent are explicit about this, including swapping advice as to how to intimidate other drivers.

LOCAL IDIOT
2022 years ago

Actually Jason nobody implied taxing 4WDs at a higher rate equates to banning everything dangerous. That was a reply to the one poster who came right out and said to ban them straight away. Unlike a lot of the people here, he wasn’t able to hide his agenda.

Punishing all 4WD owners for the sins of those who drive badly is no different than imprisoning all Aboriginals because a certain percentage were guilty of robbery.

Punishing an entire group for the actions of a few is always wrong, no matter what the punishment is or who the group is. You don’t have to be an extreme libertarian to know that – it’s just common sense.

I’m perfectly happy to use economics to explain things to people, not to use it as a stick to beat those who inner-city elites find distasteful.

My entire family are rednecks, so please excuse me if I don’t immediately join in the mindless redneck-bashing that this whole debate really is about.

As far as I am concerned there is no problem with 4WDs. I don’t drive one, but plenty of people in Perth do and It’s never been a problem for me.

I think you’re all a bunch of incessant whingers to be honest. Surely there are more pressing problems with Australia than the presence of four wheel drives.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

Er, that was me.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

It’s not about rednecks at all, yobbo. And I only use that term because you did. If you read the above discussion and even Hamilton’s report, I think the focus is on people in cities.

Certainly, from my point of view, the worst offenders would be a certain type of high income earner predisposed to the view that his or her wealth entitles them to special treatment. Like Hamilton’s report, I would also categorise them as pudgy.

In my experience, the open roads are quite friendly. It’s only when you get to within about 100 kilometres of the major cities that you encounter deliberately aggressive or dangerous driving.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

you’re projecting too much of your insecurities, Yobbo. I have no strong views either way about taxing 4WDs, I was just pointing out why there might be a reasonable theoretical case for taxing them at a higher rate and why your argument is fallacious. I’m not particularly passionate about this issue but I prefer to be rigorous than be an activist.

Essentially what it boils down to is saying that all ex-post remedies (i.e. prosecuting after the fact)are more efficient than ex-ante remedies (i.e. pricing in possible externalities of conduct before the event). No in fact that’s not even what you said – all you said is that we should always prefer the former to the latter because it’s immoral.

According to your logic, imposing a speed limit is ‘immoral’ and therefore shouldn’t be done. Your preference for an ex-post approach would mean we prosecute all those who drive over 100 or 200km/h on the road only if they hit and kill someone. You offer no analysis for your preference for ex post remedies except to say that it’s immoral.

John Humphreys
John Humphreys
2022 years ago

Actually Jason, wouldn’t the more consistent libertarian position be that the road owners set the speed limit?

The idea that people are only punished for what they do is neither uniquely libertarian nor extreme. But it is a non-utilitarian point. I understand you prize utility more highly than the abstract ideas of liberty and self-ownership, but surely you put some value on the latter?

At one level, and with enough “ifs” and “buts”, it is possible to create a potential argument for any and all types of laws. Nobody is denying that. But the burden of proof surely lies with the people who want to introduce collective punishment, not by law-abiding people who just want to be left alone.

Jason Soon
Jason Soon
2022 years ago

“Actually Jason, wouldn’t the more consistent libertarian position be that the road owners set the speed limit?”

And if the road owners happen to be the government of the day? … what’s the point of arguing over what the fantasy position would be? well, if the road owner were a private party, it would probably make business sense to set a speed limit of some kind too.

incidentally Yobbo and John, presumably younger drivers pay higher premiums for their car insurance. isn’t this ‘bigoted and immoral’ to young drivers who drive well? you’d argue in this case that car insurers compete in a competitive market (well, I guess they sort of do) but isn’t this comparison a better one than the one Yobbo posed about locking up all Aboriginals? To the provider of insurance it may be efficient to ‘tax’ younger drivers more. To the provider of roads and courts infrastructure it may be efficient to ‘tax’ 4WD drivers more. A much less emotive and more sensible comparison, nothing whatsoever to do with rights.

Incidentally Yobbo of all the contributors to this thread the only one who isn’t an ‘inner city’ whinger and who actually lives in the country is Vee who is the one calling for a ban. So there goes your paranoid theory about redneck haters.

Vee
Vee
2022 years ago

I never said anything about banning them and if you read the post again – I said regulate them. Well I guess I did technically say ban them from people that don’t use them for their intended purpose at least once a year – its not a big ask.

observa
observa
2022 years ago

Nonsensical rule Vee because everyone who owned one could drive once a year on a dirt/gravel road. Understand what 4WDs are used for.

Firstly the boat, caravan, heavy trailer. The average 6 cyl car is not rated to legally tow most of these and you can be prosecuted for it if pulled over at a public weighbridge. Also if you have an accident with a load exceeding manufacturer’s rated towing capacity you may void your insurance or leave yourself open to civil recompense. Full chassis 4WDs are often the only legal towing vehicle for heavy loads. I personally know a steel rep who hitched a ski boat to his company car (Ford Falcon) for a trip up the river and his the doors and boot have not closed properly ever since. Get the picture here?

Next their is the sedan type 4WD/AWD which Subaru largely pioneered. These AWDs have become mandatory for snow/ice conditions largely in the northern hemisphere, but they also present an added safety margin on wet and gravel roads in Oz. I owned a Subaru L Series wagon and its capability on gravel was very impressive. The same is true for the chassis 4WD/AWDs for heavy towing. They are much safer from jack-knifing, both for their owners and you, the other road user.

The other major user would be the tradey, who has to get his tools up close on building sites. For example a chippy doing a second fix(doors, skirts, architraves, etc) on your average suburban house. He needs to get close to the house with tool as well as heavy generators or petrol compressors for nail guns and the like. Drive onto the block, down a slight incline, with a 2WD and if it rains while you’re on the job, you often cannot drive out. Hence the predominance of 4WDs among the trades. And yes the tradeys like to be almost home by the time the Toorak Tractor mums are wandering around the ether to pick up the munchkins from school.

jen
jen
2022 years ago

Boys boys and cars and trucks
‘Girls can wear jeans because it’s OK to look like a boy’

After visiting outback themepark Kakadu, my Dad sat at the dinner table and said, ‘I take my hat off to Stu (my brother) for getting the troopy through to Jim Jim Falls – he was referring to a themepark 4WD track, (a theme park 4WD track won’t turn into anything really nasty)

I jumped out of my skin to say, ‘I drove down there!’
The dead incomprehending response made any further observations regarding my 4WDing experiences, somewhere we just could never go.

What I loved about driving outbush was being scared and getting myself to where I had to go, relatively on time and in tact.

It was definitely a learning process. The epiphany came at a fork in the fenceline somehere between Mataranka and Beswick. Which way? I did the jen thing and yelled and screamed for a while .. and cried, and hated the one who’d left me so far behind.
No-one.

I got out of the truck and looked for tracks, found some new ones, figured that might be right, and it was.
Independence and self-reliance, that’s what I like in a woman! She got balls that day.

I am an indoor girl. Learning to watch and look for details in the bush was new. I loved it. I also had a little ute that would turn into a tractor, get me out of trouble as it went through and over unbelievable ground. Hands on the wheel, eyes, ears everywhere, feet working the pedals. Exhausting. My adrenalin picks up when I remember. The black soil, rock, mud, sand, water, savage washaways, boggy jump-ups, tyre deep ruts, flooded crossings…. no track, oh fuck. now where?
I am shit scared every time I go off road and if I don’t HAVE to be in control of a vehicle offroad I’d rather not. It’s hard work. I guess that’s what is reassuring about Kakadu.
It is safe.
You can experience the fun of testing the vehicle and your driving ability (however slight, as in my case) {digression here} – my little ute saved my bad driving arse by turning itself into a tractor at a gear change, foot hard on the accelerator or pumping the brakes like crazy – {back to the point}… without getting into real trouble.

Thanks for reminding me you lot.

Francis Xavier Holden
2022 years ago

I can’t believe the Oz Institute took a whoel paper to come up with some stereotyping.

It’s always seemd simply to me based on observation of a large sample size.

4WD drivers are guys with small dicks and women with fat arses.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

I think more regulation of 4WDs would be appropriate. I would like to see special licences for driving 2-tonne and larger passenger vehicles. This would convey to drivers that their use of a disproportionately large vehicle on our roads is a privilege that can be withdrawn.

It would also provide a feasible way to target dangerous 4WD drivers, since a 4WD licence could be withdrawn more easily than a normal car licence.

Secondly, I would like to see new traffic offences that explicitly identify 4WDs. Thus running a red light or speeding in a 4WD would be a more serious charge, and attract greater punishment, than committing the same offences in a car. The reason for this is that, currently, 4WD drivers actually enjoy very little threat from running red lights and other dangerous behaviours. They know that a crash with another vehicle will probably leave them uninjured.

Indeed, I’m aware of corporate executives who buy large 4WDs because their excessive use of mobile phones exposes them to crash risks. Rather than trying to reduce the risk of crashing, they shift the damage to other, innocent parties.

Also, although Australians are mostly familiar with 2-tonne class 4WDs, there are larger models up to 5-tonnes that exacerbate the above concerns.

This type of licencing only needs to apply to large vehicles, which means vehicles over 2 tonnes, such as Land Crusiers and Range Rovers. It doesn’t apply to Subarus, Honda CRVs and the like. Also, it wouldn’t impact on tradespeople, farmers, outdoors people and so on who use large 4WDs safely. They would face a small licence fee, but no other changes, unless they threaten other road users, and that’s how it should be.

On jen’s point about bush bashing, there is another issue about 4WDs, being environmental degradation. Deep wheel tracks created by 4WDs can remain in bush country for years. Driving on sand dunes destroys vegetation binding and allows the dunes to drift.

A minority of 4WD drivers delight in sneaking into national parks and causing damage, to the extent that park managements have to bulldoze deep ditches in roads to stop them. So that is another externality of 4WDs that needs to be considered.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

For what it’s worth, I read Hamilton’s report. It is actually quite a strange piece of work, and in this I concur with Nicholas. There is a huge number of issues surrounding 4WDs, both in road safety and in their effect on the environment, but the Hamilton piece shows no understanding of those issues at all.

For example, he misunderstands the use of the term aggressive in referring to 4WDs. Although 4WD drivers are sometimes associated with aggressive driving, the term is not used in that sense in road safety discussions of 4WDs, yet that seems to the sense the report thinks it’s using.

In road safety, aggressive refers to the asymmetrical damage that 4WD’s cause due to their larger mass, their high stance and the frequent fitting of bull bars. The high stance causes 4WD’s to ride over and crush normal vehicles in a smash. The bull bars force walkers under the wheels, and so on.

Tony Healy
Tony Healy
2022 years ago

OK. I’ve worked out the incongruity in the Hamilton paper. The paper represents itself as part of the road safety literature examining the danger of 4WD’s, but it’s actually just a sociological analysis of 4WD owners. It’s thus dishonest, superficial, and cliched to boot.

The cliche is its examination of the taunt that 4WD owners don’t use their vehicles in the bush. Who gives a stuff? That’s totally irrelevant to a road safety analysis of 4WD’s.

Effectively, this paper seeks to invoke public wariness about the danger of 4WD’s and use it in a political class battle to condemn conservatives. That is totally dishonest.

It talks about tax penalties, as would be discussed in road safety discussions, but effectively it wants those penalties to apply to people who don’t respect Aboriginal culture, don’t use the internet and don’t like gay people. Nicholas’ headline actually sums it up well – a tax on people we don’t like.

Andrew Leigh
2022 years ago

I agree with Nicholas and Tony (among others!). A couple of years back, I took a shot at looking at this from a purely economic standpoint, estimating the internal benefits and the external costs.

john
john
2022 years ago

My first concern with the story on 4WD’s is so what? Apart from exciting the Fairfax press and talkback radio (i.e. getting Clive Hamilton’s voice heard) what was the possible point of the ‘research’? There are good public policy reasons to restrict their size/use and increase their price. Offers of ‘free bullbars’ as an inducement to city drivers of 4wd is simply irresponsible, but so to is labelling all 4wd owners fat bigots.

Since when does the progressive left support statistical discrimination? Is Hamilton supportive of statements that Aboriginal people are ‘generally’ criminal in nature because they are more likely to have a criminal record? I hate crucifying individuals on the basis that they share characteristics with an arbitrary group.

Following on from that, how will the left ever engage with the mainstream when it supports such outrageous attacks on those whose behaviour/votes we want to change?

Finally, I think what irks me about the research is that it is sanctimonious. Its preachy, its cheap, and its pointless. Given all the important research that needs doing in Australia it’s a pity that a self described ‘think tank’ would bother to think about such banal research.

John Humphreys
John Humphreys
2022 years ago

Jason: “what’s the point of arguing over what the fantasy position would be?”

It was you that brought up the “extreme libertarian notions”. I was just responding.

I agree that many private road owners would introduce spead limits. And yes, younger drivers do often pay higher premiums for car insurance. No — I don’t think it is bigoted or immoral and there is nothing I have said previously that would lead you to draw that conclusion.

And no — that is a bad analogy with accidents caused by 4WD drivers. A better analogy would be to have a tax on old female asian volvo drivers who wear hats. Or a tax on any criteria that people consider is correlated with bad driving outcomes. OT — out of curiousity, I wonder what a similar sociological study of aboriginals would find and how it would be reported?

In the case of insurance, the discrimination has to come first. That is the nature of insurance — it is estimating risks and offering to take on the risk. I have no problem with higher insurance premiums on 4WD drivers — this may already be the case.

But Hamilton isn’t talking about risk transfers. He is talking about pre-emptive collective punishment. There is little incentive for the road owners to get involved in that debate… unless you are talking about damage to the road.

I’m not inner-city. I grew up in RARA land. Now I am “no city”. And “no country” for that matter… :)

Vee
Vee
2022 years ago

Funny that Observa, I thought 4WDs were made for rough terrain not just a dirt, gravel road.

Yobbo
Yobbo
2022 years ago

What do you think Dirt and Gravel roads are? 4wds are a necessity on such roads, not only because they are safer, but because such roads do a lot of damage to lower-slung passenger cars.

James Hamilton
James Hamilton
2022 years ago

And incidentally 2WDs do a lot damage to those roads, especially when they are wet and drying out.

Vee
Vee
2022 years ago

commonplace that I see next to no 4WDs ever on.

matty d
matty d
2022 years ago

the primary problem is clearly the 4wds. the secondary problem is the advertising of these vehicles to people in situations that obviousy don’t require 4wds. finally, the first two problems are compounded by the people who fall for the advertising – the ‘image’ – and buy these beasts when there is no real need for them to do so. hopefully the price of fuel thesedays will discourage some of these people, but for those who have more expendable income than sense, fads like these (i.e. owning an big ****off 4wd even though you only need to be transported to the supermarket and kids’ schools) will always attract them. people buy vehicles for all sorts of different reasons – and i’m guessing that ‘concern for the environment’ and for ‘other people’s safety and consideration’ aren’t at the top of the list for many purchasers of 4wds. oops – hope i’m not using the generalisation brush? wouldn’t want to come accross as being ‘statistically discriminatory’.