Jersey takes lead with bull bar ban

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The Independent Online
ALL BULL bars are to be removed from cars and vans in Jersey by the end of the year, after the Channel Island's parliament decided to act over concerns about the danger they caused to pedestrians.

The move applies immediately to all new vehicles and to any new registrations of vehicles, which means that any cars being sold cannot have any bull bars.

There are an estimated 2,000 vehicles fitted with bull bars on the island, which has the highest concentration of vehicles per mile of road in the world. The ban will apply to both bull bars fitted on new cars and as accessories.

Cars with bull bars have been shown in research to be much more dangerous in accidents to pedestrians, particularly children, than those without, and a number of road deaths have been blamed on them.

Rohan Minkley, a spokesman for Jersey's Defence Committee which took the decision, said: "The Defence Committee decided that as bull bars present an additional hazard to pedestrians, creating a risk that would otherwise not be there, and therefore they should be removed."

He said Jersey was following the example of Cyprus where the government had banned bull bars last year. Jersey's government is encouraging the use of "soft, flexible protector bars where these are still considered necessary for cosmetic effect".

The decision may have much wider implications as it was taken as a result of legislation on British and European statute books. Tomorrow, the RAC is to lobby Neil Kinnock, European transport commissioner, and MEPs over the issue of bull bars, and will suggest that Jersey's move could pave the way for similar legislation throughout the EU.

The RAC, which has campaigned against bull bars along with The Independent on Sunday for the past two years, has been involved in a dispute with government ministers who say that a ban on bull bars is impossible under existing European legislation.

However, Edmund King, the RAC's campaigns manager said: "Jersey's rules are based on UK legislation and therefore the same interpretation of the rules could be made throughout Europe."

Estimates of the number of bull bars in the UK suggest that as many as two million vehicles may now be fitted with them.