• Deflating Experience

    SUV Drivers Beware: Paris Can Be A Deflating Experience

    Not wanted by some.
    Paris (AFP)
    Drivers of SUVs in Paris are being targeted by a group of activists letting down their tyres because of anger at the disproportionate amount of pollution the big four-wheel drive vehicles produce, the French newspaper Liberation reported Friday.

    "We don't puncture them, we just let the air out, because that way, legally, we're not risking a lot," it quoted one of the unidentified activists as saying.

    He said the group, which calls itself the Deflators, decided on its nighttime valve raids because "four-wheel-drive owners know they're polluting twice as much as other vehicles but they don't care, and city authorities are powerless to fight them because of the strength of the automobile lobby."

    The action came after Paris City Hall, dominated by pro-environment Socialist and Green councillors, did a U-turn on an idea to ban SUVs from the capital's streets after fierce opposition from driving associations, which called it discriminatory.

    "Our attitude will probably spark hateful reactions. But what we're looking for is a citizen's debate, a dialogue, to remind people that four-wheel-drives in the city are harmful to the environment," the unnamed activist said.

    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.

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