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Germany wants bull-bar ban

2002-08-07 16:10

"This kind of nonsense has no place on the road and poses a threat to weaker road-users such as pedestrians, children and cyclists," a transport ministry spokesman told a news conference.

Bull-bars are front guards which cover the grille of an SUV or 4x4 and are designed to protect the front of the car from the hazards of driving off-road on open terrain.

In recent years, SUVs have become the vehicle of choice for many urban and suburban dwellers, and consumer groups have called for a ban on bull-bars in the interests of pedestrian safety.

Transport Minister Kurt Bodewig has officially called on the European Commission to ban bull-bars as he does not accept that they have a place on the streets, the spokesman said.

"Even at 20 km/h tests show that vehicles with these bull-bars can mortally injure children, compared to 40 km/h with normal vehicles."

There are 1.4-million off-road vehicles in Germany, of which 60% have bull-bars on the front, he added.

"Tests also show that bull-bars made out of less robust material or plastic are not as dangerous, so we want a ruling on metal bull bars only," he said.

In June, the European Parliament approved a voluntary move by car manufacturers to make safer cars and promised legislation would follow to protect pedestrians, which included a measure to abolish bull-bars.

Each year 9 000 pedestrians and cyclists are killed across the 15-country European Union and a further 200,000 injured in accidents involving cars.


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