motorists, who have recently passed their driving test to driving these cars for a year, so their advantages have
become much more obvious once they qualify for driving a full width car. As the LOCI concept became more
popular there would be justification for extending the associated infrastructure further in the way described, with
some motorists hiring large cars from a car pool only when they are really necessary.
Safety issues concerning smaller vehicles
It is unclear if there is a safety issue relating to small cars. Quadricycles, the nearest category to that envisaged
here, have a fatality rate per vehicle km intermediate between that of mopeds and heavier cars
cycles have very high casualty rates based on this measurement criterion.
It would be possible to increase the crash resistance of small vehicles at the cost of weight and fuel
consumption, and there are some moves to introduce similar legislation to that of larger cars in Europe.
However, making vehicles heavier to provide protection from heavier vehicles still seems to be a self defeating
option which could spiral out of control. Moreover, it is inconsistent to legislate against small cars based on an
artificially imposed weight limit and not apply the same criteria to mopeds and pedal cycles which provide
virtually no protection at all.
There are several other factors that need to be considered concerning safety: a feeling of security can encourage
more reckless driving behaviour and the safety of society at large needs to be given priority over the individual;
this includes innocent pedestrians, occupants of other vehicles, and victims of environmental pollution. Only
when all these factors are taken into account can one arrive at a consistent and logical assessment. Focussing on
artificial impact tests appears to completely miss out all these vital factors.
Many accidents whilst driving on the road are due to poor visibility and observation.
The camera system and
flashing light as suggested in the example should provide good all round visibility to the small vehicle driver
and to drivers of other vehicles. In addition LOCI provides some degree of lane separation. Note also that the
INITIATE concept would minimise the use of the heaviest and potentially the most dangerous vehicles on the
roads generally making the use of smaller vehicles more acceptable. In combination, all these initiatives could
lead to a safer overall transport system.
Summary: advantages of LOCI
low profile vehicles are configured to meet the typical journey requirement of carrying one or two persons.
This avoids transporting excess bulk and weight around, thereby reducing energy use and emissions
low profile vehicles provides a better degree of comfort and protection from the elements relative to the
other environmental alternative the bicycle, and is therefore more likely to be used.
a parallel road infrastructure can be built more cheaply and quickly than for wider vehicles. This avoids the
need for extensive road building to meet expanding transport demand.
a parallel road infrastructure separates the low profile vehicles from other traffic allowing them to bypass
more parking provision would be available for private residences and at amenities due to the reduced space
required. Local authorities could ensure parking bays are allocated nearer amenities to encourage low
profile vehicle use.
smaller, narrower vehicles are less obtrusive than larger ones, providing a better living environment for
residents living near roads.
34 passenger causalities per billion-passenger km for pedal cycles, verses 2.7 for cars. Table 1 - Passenger casualty rates by mode: 1997
2006, Fatalities in road accidents: 2007 Road Accident Statistics Factsheet No. 2 2008 See also table 26 Reported Road Casualties
In accidents resulting in any severity of casualty, inattention was the most common contributory factor, (this was) found in 25% of all
accidents. See Road casualties Great Britain 2003 Annual report