Proposed New York Law Would Charge More to Register SUVs

The issue at hand is pedestrian safety and vehicle weight

Parked vehicles
A proposed law pushes back against the increasing popularity of SUVs.
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When it comes to driving, is bigger truly better? If you’ve been monitoring automotive sales trends in the U.S., you’re probably already aware of the sustained popularity of SUVs and trucks. Even at a time when gas prices have risen and concern over emissions abounds, many auto buyers are looking at the alternative and opting for something massive. (To be fair, there are also valid reasons to go big if every other vehicle on the road is also oversized.) But now, a proposed law in New York seeks to make the case for smaller vehicles instead.

As Alissa Walker reports in Curbed, a group of New York lawmakers has introduced legislation designed to make it more expensive to register a heavier vehicle in the state. The reason behind this is simple — the article cites the staggering figure of SUVs and trucks being responsible for 80% of the children struck and killed by cars in New York City. The law would raise the weight-based registration fees over time between now and 2030, with the money raised allocated to improving safety on local roads.

The bill, which is currently in committee, was introduced by State Senator Andrew Gounardes. It also includes a provision for monitoring “the number of vehicles categorized by vehicle weight involved in crashes with pedestrians, cyclists or other vehicles resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.”

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This isn’t the only ambitious move on the part of New York’s state government that relates to driving habits. There’s also the congestion pricing plan set to go into effect in New York City, which has led to some friction between the state governments of New York and New Jersey. This newly proposed law on SUVs and vehicle weight seems potentially less contentious — but it has a long way to go before it’s on the books.

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