World News

Swiss to vote on SUV ban

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss campaigners launched a bid on Monday to ban off-roaders, SUVs and gas-guzzling executive and sports cars, winning enough support for a referendum.

The Young Green party said on Monday in a statement, it had turned in 120,000 verified signatures gathered in support of a referendum, to be held within 18 months.

A spokesman for the Federal Chancellery said it will now check the signatures, although the 100,000 valid signatures necessary to call a referendum “should easily have been surpassed”.

“Our initiative slows global warming, protects cyclists, pedestrians and children, stops the arms race on the streets..., reduces pollution and is still reasonable,” the initiators said on their website.

The initiators want all new cars to emit less than 250g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre, and diesel engines to be equipped with particle filters.

Furthermore, new cars should weigh less than 2.2 tonnes and have a safer front in order to protect pedestrians.

Cars which do not fit these criteria but are already registered should have a speed limit of 100 km/h, the initiators propose.

Various European countries have introduced higher taxes to penalise pollution, hitting sales of cars such as SUVs.