There are growing calls in Germany to ban SUVs from city centres following a horrific accident in central Berlin in which four pedestrians were killed.
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A three-year-old child and a British man were among the dead after a driver appeared to lose control of his Porsche Macan SUV at a red light and ploughed into pedestrians at high speed on Friday.
A senior Green Party MP on Monday called for a nationwide ban on large SUVs in city centres amid fears the heavy vehicles are endangering lives on Germany’s crowded streets.
“We need an upper limit for large SUVs in the inner cities,” Oliver Krischer told Tagesspiegel newspaper. “Best would be a national law that allows local authorities to enforce size limits.”
“There is an urgent need for debate on how big the cars that drive around our inner cities should be.”
Police are still investigating the cause of Friday’s accident, but have ruled out a deliberate attack. The 42-year-old driver was seriously injured in the crash, and there were unconfirmed reports on Monday that police suspect he may have suffered an epileptic fit which caused him to lose control.
A 29-year-old British man was identified as among the victims on Monday. The dead also included a three-year-old German child and his grandmother. Neither the victims nor the driver have been named under Germany privacy laws.
Amid uncertainty as to the cause of the crash, public anger has turned on SUV drivers, and there have already been calls for a city-wide ban in Berlin. The Porsche hit a traffic light before ploughing into pedestrians, and there has been speculation that the first impact may have been enough to stop a lighter vehicle
Germany has been slow to fall in love with the SUV, but a million of the vehicles are expected to be registered in the country for the first time this year.
The rise in sales has coincided with growing demand to reduce the number of cars in city centres in order to tackle climate change.
Environmental activists seized on Friday’s horrific crash to call for tolls and parking bans in order to discourage people from driving SUVs in urban areas.