The accident resulted in 4 dead and 3 injured. District mayor of Berlin-Mitte, the central quarter of the German capital, believes that the tragedy is proof enough that “tank-like” SUVs are a real danger and should not be allowed within the city limits.
His statement is echoed by activists who gathered on Invalidenstrasse, where the accident took place, asking for lighter, electric cars that pose less dangers to pedestrians, The Irish Times reports. Stephan von Dassel, the district mayor, made the statement at a press conference, local publication Spiegel confirms.
“Such tank-like cars do not belong in the city,” von Dassel said. “They are climate killers, even threatening without an accident, every driving mistake becomes a mortal danger to the innocent.”
The mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, refrained from mentioning any potential ban in his own address, referring to the tragedy as a “terrible accident” and sending a word of consolation to the victims’ families.
The exact causes of the accident remain under investigation as of the time of writing. Initial reports claimed that the driver was probably engaged in an illegal street race, but they have been shut down by the police ever since. Right now, there are no indications racing was involved.
Instead, investigators are working under the assumption that the 42-year-old at the wheel of the Macan suffered a medical emergency. He lost control of the car and went up the footpath, running over a 64-year-old woman and her 3-year-old grandson, and 2 men in their 20s, before coming to a stop after going through the fence of the construction site.
Inside the SUV were an elderly woman and a 6-year-old girl, but they received only minor injuries. The driver hurt his head and is being treated in the hospital.
Recent figures show an increase in the number of newly registered SUVs in Germany, to the point where it’s the most popular newly registered car type, with a market share of 22.2 percent. That alone shows that, if von Dassel and eco-warriors plan to act on their suggestion of enforcing a ban, they will be facing an uphill battle.