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back to article MEP plans EU build ban on cars faster than 100mph

The EU Parliament's environment committee is considering a proposal to ban all cars capable of exceeding 100 mph (162 km/hour) from 2013. The proposal, put forward by LibDem MEP Chris Davies, is based on the arguments that cars that go faster than 100 mph are "over-engineered to a ridiculous degree", and that for safety reasons …

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Tax the fuel

The only really effective means to reduce fuel consumption in private vehicles is to tax the fuel heavily. If the main cost of owning a car becomes the fuel cost, you will see people choose more economic cars and drive them less or with more passengers.

This will also make fuel economy more of a design decision for luxury cars than it is now.

Taxing heavier cars higher doesn't really help, as the more you pay in fixed expenses on your car, the more you are inclined to use it to amortize the fixed costs over more miles. It may influence choice of cars somewhat, but once a buyer has chosen to spend extra cash buy a heavy car, there is little incentive not to use it a lot.

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Anonymous Coward

Uniquely British

As an EU citizen I can state that unfortunately Euro MEPs are underworked and overpaid – anyone who has glimpsed the directive on Circuses in the EU will understand!

In this particular instance a newly formed British trait is showing its ugly head – instead of aspiring to owning something big / expensive / luxurious that you neighbour has and working towards it……….Ban him from owning it and enjoying it so that if you cant have it – no-one can.

I vote my country out this botched experiment called the EU!

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Germany.

I understand this is all gesture politics, as nobody believes for a second this will pass German opposition. They have the roads where you can legally drive in excess of that limits, and (by jove!) they have the well-marked, well-laid out and well-maintained roads where you can drive at such speeds, as opposed to, e.g., Britain.

So many jobs depend on automobile construction and sales, especially of powerful luxury cars, that Germany will not in the foreseeable future lower or introduce speed limits. Not. Forget it.

It escapes me where the `Liberal' is in this proposal. It echos a Dutch proposal when the first 300kmph-capable production motorbike (Suzuki GSX-r1300 Hayabusa) went on sale, they planned a limit of 160HP or something arbitrary like that (the suz had some 167, just in excess; arbitrary given that aerodynamics are so important --- it needs about 15HP to drive at 140kmph, exceeding speed limits).

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Now that's a good article..

It's not about top speed; it's about how fast you get there, plus passenger comfort, carrying capacity. etc.

Take a fiesta - quite a decent low end car. It'd probably do over 100mph, flat out. Now stick something heavy in the boot, a couple of people in the back, and try to drive on a motorway uphill at 70mph with the aircon on. You'll struggle, even with your foot flat to the floor in fourth.

If the MP advocated an electric limiter, he'd have a point, as a large amount of fast cars are already limited to 155mph. People like to speed though, and cars are sold on that basis. The vehicle lobby will never agree.

New cars generally are a lot more efficient. Having say a 1.8L turbo that can do 150-180mph and still do over 30mpg at sane speeds would have been unthinkable years ago. The environmental impact of junking a three year old car and buying a new one is vastly larger than any benefit new electronics will proved, though.

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Anonymous Coward

Politician in passionate-but-totally-ignorant proposal shocker

Do these people not have advisors? Or reference books? Or a tv? Or the Internet? Or friends?

Making up silly proposals that aren't based on any fact but are provoked purely on the basis of a passionate belief, whether justified or not, just serves to make the person look a little loony. Maybe Mr Davies could have a few meetings with Chief Constable Brunstrom.. I'm sure between them they could author a whole series of spittle-flecked rants about motorists as a whole based purely on Mr Davies' pretend science and Mr Brunstrom's offensive selfishness.

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Anonymous Coward

Euro-hostility

I wonder if the EU are ever going to work out that public hostility to the EU has far less to do with the iniquities of the CAP, the mountain of cash hosed at making the parliament peripatetic or any of the other "big ticket" items.

It's 'cos it's run by complete wankers.

TeeCee

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Prius...

Shame the Prius can do 105MPH. Presumably, that too would be banned...

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Engine limiters

Hmm... I own a Japanese grey import car that was engine limited to 111mph (180 km/h) in it's Japanese domestic form, and it was the work of ohhhh... minutes to undo it when it arrived in the UK. It was even quicker to do on my cousins motorbike. And I imagine the original owner delimited it the moment he bought it and only put the limiter back on when it was time to sell it.

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How do these muppets get into politics?

Oh wait.. I just answered my own question.

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Anonymous Coward

Humm...

Will it effect anything? Car makers will just slap a 100mph limiter on cars and stick with that, because a car that only dose 100mph will never be happy crusing at 70 (It will be to high in the rev range.)

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Anonymous Coward

Weight has more reasons..

The more weight, the more kinetic energy gets distributed. This is why a HGV can sometimes not even notice the impact of hitting a car, it's why a lightweight vehicle has the losing side of a frontal collision, and it explains why a fat MEP will come off better from a collision with a overburdened tax payer..

In addition, a fast car is also overspec'd on safety features. So I'd still buy a fast, heavy car, even if I was not living in Germany - it's safer for those inside.

"Ye can't beat tha law on physics" (Scotty, R.I.P.)

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wow who employs people that think like that

wow, ok lets just get rid if all the roads, kill all the farting cows, ban curries and ban the burning of anything ever.

Wow look i cured emissions problems and global warming, i'm a genious give me a job in government.

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Won't work...

Existing cars won't be covered - they'd never dare allow retrospective legislation on a subject as contentious as this - so it could actually encourage older cars to be kept in use becase they could flout the ban.

Under limited-volume approval, kitcars and the like can re-use certain components of an older car and retain the registration. So a nice shiny new car, with enough old bits will also be exempt. After it's legal, of course, you can replace whatever parts you like as a 'repair'...

There will also always be someone somewhere making a car that can exceed the limit - what will happen to foreign registered visitor's cars?

This sounds like an ill-thought out idea with no thought to the consequences. I'm sure it will be ratified with undie swiftness by the UK government and will be ignored, as usual, by everyone else. Can you seriously see the Italians allowing this?!

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Ridiculous

I'll bet anyone who has a big car hardly ever in fact takes it over 100mph mostly because there's little to nowhere to do it these days becuase of the other traffic and all the speed cameras popping up everywhere.

People will still buy ludicrously expensive gas guzzling cars for status, regardless of whether they are limited to 100 mph or not.

All that will happen is manufacturers will gear bigger engined EU cars lower, meaning they will be able to accelerate to a limited 100 mph faster, so meaning more danger and an overall net loss in efficiency therefore increase in pollution.

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0-100mph times

No problem with a 100mph limit, as long as they don't restrict how quickly it gets there.

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Anonymous Coward

A bad combination

Politicians should not try to legislate engineering. Even though we call them the Laws of Physics, they can't be repealed or amended.

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Jeremy Clarkson will be thrilled

Can't wait to see what Top Gear makes of this suggestion...

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But...

Two things.

1) hitting a car, head on, at 60mph, which is also doing 60mph, is the same as hitting a wall at 120mph......

So we need the added "saftey" weight (in the same way as your "hitting something bigger argument").

2) Building a new car, puts out more emissions than even the worst car will output in it's driving lifetime, dur to the horrible-ness of extracting things like Al....

So, we are to help the environment, by damanging the environment? At the same time, making cars less safe?

Sounds like a plan!

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Anonymous Coward

100mph?

That's a limit that can be exceeded by pretty damn nearly every current car made with more than a 1 litre engine. Utterly ridiculous metric to use and does nothing to address a 2-ton 7 litre monster truck that can't hit 100 but still burns half the remaining North Sea Oilfields getting the kids to school.

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Anonymous Coward

If it moves, ban it

Of course we know that banning things is the most effective solution to any given problem; how can anyone dispute a method with such a long and proven track record? Though I can't help feeling that this eagerness to ban everything that causes him offence doesn't exactly sit well with Mr Davies' self-professed credentials as one who is "liberal" and "democratic", but perhaps I'm just missing something obvious.

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Laughable

It is these ridiculous policy ideas that mean the Lib Dems will never be a serious contender for Government. The idea that all cars that exceed 100mph are unenviromentally friendly is simply rubbish. After all a Toyota Prius can break the 100mph mark.

Also isn't the EU trying to promote European culture and acheivement? (See EUTube) Well surely supurbly crafted high performance sports cars are the pinnicale of European mechanical engineering.

I really can't see any Italian or Germant MEP supporting this.

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Anonymous Coward

Crappy Fiat

I have a crappy fiat bravo that weighs next to nothing. You only have to fart next to it to dent it. I would not want to be in it in any crash at any speed. It can easily do over 100MPH. I think this MEP is an uninformed non-engineer commenting on something to self publicise and get airtime, rather than proposing a well rounded solution to the problem.

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Muppet

"At a time when Europe is worried about its energy security it is sheer lunacy to approve the sale of gas guzzling cars designed to travel at dangerous speeds that the law does not permit."

Just because the speeds are not legal in this country doesn't mean they are illegal in every country moron!!

Why should the Germans be forced to limit thier cars to 100MPH when they can quite legally drive them at 140MPH down the autobahns??

Also if he did some research I think mr Davies will find that a lot of German manufacturers already limit thier cars to 145MPH to prevent people going too fast down the autobahns, so in effect you could say that this already happnes, just at a slightly faster speed than mr Davies would like..

Muppet

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Lol what about 4x4s?

Surely their excess weight contributes unecessarily to CO2 production if we're going to get silly about things.

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Anonymous Coward

Compulsary 3rd party insurance

I think they should shift the tax burden from fixed taxes to petrol and mileage related taxes to encourage people to use their cars less.

1. All annual car tax would be abolished.

2. The equivalent tax would be added to the petrol tax, so that an average motorist pays the same taxes, he just pays it as part of petrol instead of annual car tax. Drive less and he then saves those taxes.

3. All fixed interval costs would be removed. MOT would be every 20,000 miles with the limit on brake thickness etc. set so that the car will last another 20000 miles. If you only drive rarely, you should need your car MOT's less often and be able to save money and time as a result/reward.

4. Compulsary 3rd party insurance would be linked to mileage, drive 1000 miles a year, pay 1/10th of someone who drives 10,000 miles a year. Drive less, be rewarded by reduce insurance costs.

5. MOT equivalence anywhere in Europe. A person working in Germany should not have to drive back to his home country when an MOT is due, the equivalent test should be done where-ever they are working. Less wasted journeys, since we accept all European tests as valid for driving a European car in the UK, it makes sense to make them equivalent.

The aim would be to get people to only use the car when they really need to. Drive 1/10th of the journeys you use to drive, and your car related costs are 1/10th as much.

At the moment, if you pay 1000GBP a year in fixed costs, then no matter what you'll pay 3GBP a day, even if you take the bus, the bus has to be so much more efficient that it not only saves you the petrol costs, it also has to save you an extra 3GBP a day in order for you to save money. With mileage and petrol related taxes, you would automatically save that cost and it would be a stronger incentive to use the bus or cycle or walk.

i.e. both carrot and stick to encourage people to drive less, but accept that sometimes they need a car. As more people use public transport (PT), the need for a car will reduce and PT will get better encouraging more people to use PT.

"who resigned as LibDem group leader last year following an unfortunate email exchange on the subject of Israel."

You make it sound so sinister, the words he was criticized for were these:

"We should be honest. These are the racist policies of apartheid yet Israel continues to pose as a victim.

"I visited Auschwitz last year, and it is very difficult to understand why those whose history is one of such terrible oppression appear not to care that they have themselves become oppressors."

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Anonymous Coward

Ummmm,

Wonder what the response for Germany's MEP will be?

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Lotus - nuff said

The 2007 lotus elise is a 1.8L 4 banger that manages 24/29 mpg and weighs only 1975lb..OMG shut them down now! Don't they know any better!

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Sick of the over inflated opinion of the Prius

<RANT ABOUT PRIUS>

The Toyota Prius is not the fantastically 'green' car that everyone keeps raving about (http://www.wintonsworld.com/cars/a-cars-2004/toyota-prius-road-test.html). A bog standard small 1.4 diesel (e.g. Citroen C2) give comparable and often better fuel consumption.

I have a diesel C2 with sensodrive transmission (kind of auto, so less efficient than a manual) and after 40,000 mile was getting an average of 67mpg...I'm young and don't drive like a granny.

My journey has recently changed from a 40 mile run to a more congested 20 mile journey and after ~5,000 miles of this I'm now holding steady at 64mpg.

</RANT ABOUT PRIUS>

This guy also needs to do a bit of research, most high performance cars get their strength from advanced lightweight materials (e.g carbon fibre), the weight required for safe handling at high speed is generally provided by aerodynamic engineering. I'm guessing he either

a) does not drive

b) only drives in a city centre (and the Prius would then need to use it's petrol engine as it would never get to charge on long speedy runs).

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They actually have a point.

The first 3 cars I owned were all incapable of going 100 MPH yet they were comfortable, fun to drive, and reasonably safe. My cars since then were all faster and easily capable of triple digit speeds.

There was a time when a car that could accelerate from 0-60 MPH in under 10 seconds was a quick car; now even bottom line econoboxes can do this.

Engines are much more efficient than than when I started driving but millege has not improved because instead of improving millege motorists demanded and automakers built larger and more powerful cars.

Of course, it is nice to have some reserve power in automobiles for passing and merging on expressways. Most cars day probably have more reserve than they need.

100 HP is enough to move any car on the market yet many luxury and high performance cars have over 300.

My solution would rather than limit cars to 100 MPH increase taxes on petrol enough that most people can't afford large high performance cars. Use the extra revenue on mass transit, clean and/or renewable fuels, etc.

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Take the discharge pipe out of your mouth...

Puleeze... If you want to ENCOURAGE economic cars, don´t ban cars that can go over 100mph, cut the taxes on smaller engines. Here in Brasil (with an "S", got a problem?), there was a major tax discount for any car equipped with engines of 1 liter (1000cc) or below. Yes, that´s the size of the engine for a ultra-sport bike. Any North American driving an oil rig, er, SUV, would think that this size of engine are for mopeds only.

It turns out that the rest of the planet can´t afford to be so careless about the environment, and besides, gasoline is WAY MORE EXPENSIVE HERE. Here it costs some 1,3 dollar per litre (some 4 or 5 litres make a gallon, so...). It turns out that it makes a lot of sense to buy a small engine'd car.

It turned out that every car manufacturer was encouraged to extract as much possible of that 1 liter. Now, we have SUPERCHARGED chars on that engine size, built by FORD. It can draws 90hp out of 1 liter. Scale that to a "small block" Mopar 7-liter Hemi, do you get 630hp, supercharged or not? I GUESS NOT.

What about mileage? Most cars that size (1.0L) can do some 16 kilometer per litre, or better. A SUV capable of 5 kilometers per liter is called "economic".

Another thing, "cars must be heavier to be stable and safer at 100mph". Ouuuchhhh. Tell that to Audi TT. Tell that to Mazda MX-5.

Besides that, any 1 liter car, with some tinkering and tweaking (nitro and big-size turbo) can do 100mph. Bikes, by definition, can do 100mph, if they are any larger than 500cc. Will they be banned by 2012? They are greener than a Ford Explorer or Cadillac.

Even a 1972 Volkswagen Beetle (1600cc) with some tinkering, can go 80+ mph, and it barely reaches 70 hp or anything like it.

I guess I have covered all grounds, any single argument to ban cars above 100mph was destroyed. You have to make them so expensive to buy, and anti-economic to keep running, that you will be encouraged to buy something cheaper. It worked around here like a charm. 2-Liter engines here are "Luxury" models. They still have some power-to-weight ratio, and still can reach 80 mph with some effort. People buy larger engines for their ACCELERATION, not top speed, it is illegal to go at 100mph in 99.5% of the planet anyway, the top speed comes as a bonus.

Power limiting (Japan style) = failure. All power limiters can be removed.

Weight limiting = unpratical. No wonder nobody tried that.

Speed limiting = always existed. But it is down to any driver's judgement now.

Engine size scaled tax = excellent. The smaller, the cheaper. No one is preventing you on driving at 100mph, but it will cost you some dosh.

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Cart before horse...

If the goal is to improve fuel efficiency then legislate fuel efficiency, not speed.

Anything else is just another moronic "anti-speed" crusade.

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Hypocritical asshat

So, an MEP wants to ban fast cars, which he doesn't have any use or desire for, because he's so busy zipping between the UK, Brussels and Strasbourg by plane and train, emitting copious CO2 to complement his hot air.

Once the Eurocrats consolidate on a single geographical location, and/or sort out their telecommuting, then I'll consider doing as they preach (if it makes sense).

In the meantime: shut up, you over-expensed, over-polluting, parasitical hypocrite.

John

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Anonymous Coward

Reintroduce the "Red Flags"

It would also reduce unemployement ;)

Surely the EU could reduce its carbon emissions be banning all MEP/Minsters/Prime Minsters and other heads of State from using huge status symbol cars when atteneding its meetings?

In fact perhaps the EU should ban all member govement's officals from using anything but public transport when on state/offical business.

Perhaps then the govement would understand we the general public chose to buy that 7ton monster truck to do the school run rather then get on the bus with the kids.

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They work for us...

... so how many of his constituents were writing letters saying that they wanted a 100mph limiter on all cars?

Because it wouldn't be on for an MP/MEP to come up with an idea off his own back, apropos of nothing, and take it all the way to Europe without consulting his constituency first, would it?

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Good arguments against but...

... it's a waste of your good time if you are trying to convince Mr Davies he is (completely and utterly) wrong. Someone who comes up with arguments like that for new legislation is beyond help and he undermines every other MEP/MP's hard won respect by showing such a complete lack of regard for facts.

I'm a mechanical engineer and can think of a couple more reasons why the legislation wouldn't work without really trying but I shant waste my time. I guess I don't even have to mention the proportion of total CO2 production that is attributable to motor vehicles ?

Mr Davies: please inform us when you have put your brain back into gear. It is very hard for us to tell when this has happened.

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Nitpick

"hitting a car, head on, at 60mph, which is also doing 60mph, is the same as hitting a wall at 120mph"

Ummm, no.

If both cars weigh the same then it's exactly the same as a 60mph crash. Both cars go from sixty to zero in a very short time.

If one is twice as heavy as the other then it will be like a 40mph crash for that car and an 80mph crash for the other.

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limit emissions instead

Why not simply limit maximum emission (in liters of C02 per unit time) from the engine and leave all other parameters free. Then if someone wanted to build a 2000kg car able to go 200kph then they'd just have to come up with a revolutionary engine, or an electric boost or something. And if someone wanted to use their 15-year-old engine design, they'd have to make the body out of carbon fiber and the frame of titanium.

The answer is, of course, because somebody hates fast drivers a lot more than they like the environment. Sigh.

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Stop all this 'bigger taxes' business

Bugger all of our road tax goes back into road and public transport maintenance, so why should we pay any more?

And increasing it or paying per mile won't suddenly make us all trade up for Smart cars, it just means we will all have to pay more to drive and sacrifice other things.

This is what always happens.

The people that make the rules get to keep their jags, the eco-heads ride pogo sticks anyway, and the rest of us 'normals' have to go the pub less, or delay that new telly puchase so we can afford to drive our average cars.

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Silver badge

Tee hee

Idiot,

My Kit car has a lower top speed than most family hatch backs, wieghs less than a mini, yet burns 10x the fuel at full belt (it's actually resonable at sensible revs)due to it's race tuned engine and twin 45's chucking it in.

It does about 2000 miles a year, so, yes please an MOT every 10 years(above suggestion), In fact I've an MG that hasn't moved in 20 years, so should be fine to put straight back on the road.

Get real.

Tax on fuel is the most sensible, but of course the UK has amongst the highest fuel tax in the world, so what next.

Hydrogen? Because that is 100% green isn't it? (well if you exclude the high anount of energy required to make it).

Electric? see above

Hot Air? Only problem, fuel stations are only found around goverment buildings.

Horse and cart ? Well if you exclude methane from the horses backside and land mass put over to feeding the horses.

Got it. Death squads. Yes kill the human race (Something Commandant George is trying his best to do). That will solve the isse.

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Anonymous Coward

This is a non-story - the European Parliament *considers*...

I think it's important that we keep this story in perspective. The European Parliament, the least powerful of the major EU institutions is considering something i.e. discussing it at committee level.

The likelihood of it being passed into law is extremely slim indeed.

Parliaments are there to discuss things, that's why they're called parliaments. However, when it comes to the EU, any off the wall discussion gets published by UK journalists as if it were absolute fact and had been passed into law.

There will undoubtedly be pressure on manufacturers to produce more efficient cars, but I really can't see any reason why they'd be capping maximum speeds.

Let's not forget that Germany has speed limits of over 100mph on certain motorway lanes, as do a few other countries.

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so how do I vote him out of office?

As a EU citizen, how can I vote that idiot out of office. After all, his idea is stupid and has NOTHING to do with being liberal.

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Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

So, if he is going to ban Cars based on speed then perhaps he should think about the planes and trains that travel well in excess of 100mph? They are guzzling more fuel and chucking out more pollution that most of the ENTIRE UK's cars put together!!

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Serious? No.

"I've paid the price for pressing the 'send' button when I was not only angry but blazing mad."

A Lib-Dem? "Angry"? "Blazing mad"? Oh right! The whole story's a spoof.

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Anonymous Coward

Pointless

By the time they ban everything fun, America will just emit more CO2 anyway, so what's the point! Europe could focus all their energy in shouting at them but they won't listen.

Personally I think it's too late to save the planet, might aswell go and find a new one....and obviously ban American's.

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Anonymous Coward

Bomb BMW

In the same way that the US targets cocaine facilities in Columbia and poppy farms in Afghanistan, it seems reasonable that anyone supplying cars that can be driven illegally fast should be targeted.

Only fair.

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Anonymous Coward

Nanny Blairs reign of terylene is over

"In fact I've an MG that hasn't moved in 20 years, so should be fine to put straight back on the road."

If it's roadworthy then yes.

Don't confuse the *test* of roadworthiness with whether the car is roadworthy. If I have an MOT and the car has no brakes, it's still an offense to drive it.

If I don't have an MOT, but the car would pass an MOT, then the car is still safe.

The *test* of roadworthiness isn't the same as whether a car is roadworthy or not. It's the *test* that needs to be done every N miles as a double check, but the primary duty to check the car is still yours and always has been. You being an adult and me not being a your nanny.

"Tax on fuel is the most sensible, but of course the UK has amongst the highest fuel tax in the world, so what next."

What if you pay net 0 extra tax? What if the fuel tax goes up by a typical 200GBP a year and the car tax goes down by a typical 200GBP a year? What then? If you drive less, then you can save that 200GBP, so even a net zero tax change would be better.

What Blair did was use all stick an no carrot, he just turned the damn tax dial up, without any corresponding reduction in vehicle or other car bills and of course people went ballistic.

Nanny Blairs reign of terylene is over. Time for something new.

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Anonymous Coward

Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

I think you have to consider measuring your CO2 emissions on a per passenger / per km basis.

Obviously a high speed diesel train puts out more CO2 than say, a small high performance car, but it does carry between 500 and 1000 people at a time.

If the train's electric, as many high speed ones are, it's running on a mixture of fossil fuels, nuclear, wind, hydro etc (i.e. off the national grid)

Likewise, an aircraft's output of CO2 is high, but it covers vast distances and carries 100+ to 500+ people.

Cars are by far the most polluting form of transport on the basis of CO2 produced per passenger carried and per KM travelled.

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Anonymous Coward

one of the obvious disadvantages to democracy...

is that ill-thought out, biased, petty and vindictive nonsense such as this proposal ever see the light of day. The people that voted for this moron should be made aware of his idiotic ravings.

Thanks to the Register for taking the time to destroy the argument behind his attention-seeking posturing.

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Anonymous Coward

Limit children not speed.

If you want to save the environment, children are about the most damaging thing you can make in the worst case the damage can grow exponentially until total collapse of the eco-system.

In fact, the faster you go, the more likely you are to stop damaging the environment.

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