Attack on 4x4 drivers leads to open war

NOT since I wrote condemning the American-led invasion of Iraq have I received so much abuse - or so much support.My column last week, on the selfishness and rank stupidity of 4x4 drivers, obviously touched a raw nerve.

NOT since I wrote condemning the American-led invasion of Iraq have I received so much abuse - or so much support.

My column last week, on the selfishness and rank stupidity of 4x4 drivers, obviously touched a raw nerve. I've been stopped in the street to be congratulated. I've been accused in The Evening Star letters page of being offensive.

I also came near to being knocked down by a 4x4 driver on the pavement outside my little girl's primary school, but I don't think that was in response to anything I'd written.

I don't think the driver, who was turning round to talk to his own children in the back of his monster vehicle, was aware enough of his surroundings to do anything that deliberate.

More self-aware - slightly - was Mark Wiseman of Lowestoft in his letter to The Star on Wednesday.

He accuses me of sour grapes. In fact, my choice not to drive a 4x4 is because I have too much respect for the environment, other road-users and myself - not too little money.

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He points out that if hit by a lorry you are more likely to die than if hit by a 4x4. This is perhaps true, but irrelevant.

I've never seen anyone doing the school run in a lorry. And most - not all, but the vast majority - of lorries are driven by sensible, responsible, professional drivers. Unlike most 4x4s.

Note that word “most”. I don't - and I didn't - label ALL 4x4 drivers as idiots. Only the ones - and it is, sadly, most of them - who seem to have mistaken the gentle roads of Suffolk and the streets of London for the Sahara desert or the fells of Cumbria.

Finally, Mr Wiseman hopes I get stuck in snow or in a farm gateway and get refused help by a 4x4 driver.

Frankly, I don't think most of the folk who swan about town in luxury neo-jeeps would know how to help in such circumstances.

And exactly how often, in the life of an average car-driver, do such emergencies arise?

Not often enough to justify spending four times as much as you need to on your vehicle, and twice as much on fuel, that's for sure.

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