Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Chelsea Tractors

This just in from the BBC. To summarize, 4x4s are more likely to kill small children than smaller vehicles, so a sign should be placed on the dashboard reminding SUV drivers of this statistic.

Now, I do emphathize with the anti-Chelsea Tractor brigade even though I own one! But in truth it is not the vehicle, it's the driver! No matter how large an SUV may be, it cannot hurt a child if it isn't moving! Put a driver inside, particularly one who is rushing to collect the children from school before taking them on to various after school activities ("Hurry up Dad, Judo started five minutes ago!") and I can see how they can become potential killers.

We have an elementary school just across the road and at 3:30 p.m. the area suddenly becomes ten times more dangerous as mothers (mostly) vie for parking places on double yellow lines and then stand around chatting until little Johnnie and Jenny come out of class. Half an hour later and peace is restored!

The most interesting pro-SUV comment I know is how on earth do you fit four small children in a small econobox. You can't. Only two child seats will fit which means that econoboxes become a very good family planning tool. When we visit my daughter (who has two under three) and drive off somewhere, the three adults and two toddlers need two vehicles - unless we switch car seats into the SUV and then it's only one. And if son-in-law joins us, even the SUV isn't big enough. Progress.