Raised Vehicles: The PCA has been campaigning for years to get these killing machines off our roads.

Herald-Sun - Friday 7 October 2005

Raised 4WD kills boy, 3

Lillian Saleh

THE death of a three-year-old Victorian boy on holiday in Sydney has prompted angry calls from road safety experts for a ban on modified four-wheel-drive vehicles.
An Upwey family's holiday turned to tragedy when their son was knocked down by a Toyota Hilux with raised suspension when he darted across traffic towards his mother.

Witnesses yesterday said the boy's distraught mother sat on the road clutching his hand singing songs to him as a doctor desperately tried to revive him on Wednesday just before 4.30pm.

Police have laid no charges against the driver but road safety experts yesterday condemned raised 4WDs.

Witnesses said the driver was apparently unaware he had hit the boy until told by his passenger.

"She (the doctor) worked on him until the ambulance arrived but we could tell he wasn't all right," cake store owner Steve Findlater said.

"His mum was holding his hand singing to him but we could just see he was losing colour."

The toddler was rushed by ambulance to Hawkesbury District Hospital where he died.

Road safety experts yesterday labelled the monster vehicles "death machines" and called for them to be banned from metropolitan roads.

Australasian College of Road Safety president Prof Raphael Grzebieta said raised 4WDs had poor visibility.

"You can't see anyone underneath you when they are close to the vehicle and they have their blind spots like small trucks and machinery," said the Monash University civil engineer lecturer.

"We are adamantly against them because they override other vehicles and you can't see out in front of them," he said.

"They absolutely have no business being on suburban streets and should be banned."

Pedestrian Council of NSW president Harold Scruby called the vehicles death machines.

"Once you start fiddling with raising the cars above what the manufacturer's specify, you turn them into death machines and they have no relevance being on any road, let alone one in suburbia," he said.

"They certainly don't belong on suburban streets."

The head of the 4WD NSW/ACT Association said calls to ban the vehicles from roads were "just rubbish".

"Everybody would feel terribly sympathetic towards the boy's family . . . the fact is pedestrians are being run over every week in Australia -- most of them by cars -- and no one says ban cars," Rob Kelly said.

The NRMA called for national guidelines governing the acceptable height of raising a car.

"The higher you raise a vehicle, the higher its centre of gravity gets and it becomes less stable," NRMA policy specialist Jack Haley said.

And High But Not So Mighty
Letter from Paul Forward, CE of the RTA, of 8 March 2001 in response to PCA's concerns about Raised Vehicles

Now read the Advertising Standards Board's "Determination" (attached) regarding the Toyota Hilux "Get in or get out of the way" TV advertisements.