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"If you buy one, you're an idiot": Shocking attack on Ford F-150, Ram 1500, Toyota Tundra and Chevrolet Silverado owners, as MP wants to see "less of them on the road"

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Aussie owners of American trucks have come under fire
Aussie owners of American trucks have come under fire

Australian MPs at the state and local level have delivered a shocking rebuke to owners of American jumbo trucks, with one councillor describing some owners as "idiots", and a state MP demanding to see "less on our roads".

The key criticisms come from Samantha Ratnam, Leader of the Victorian Greens and Member for Northern Metropolitan Region, who calls for increased registrations costs as a way of seeing "less of these monster cars on our streets.”

“Large utes have a role in regional areas, but these luxury vehicles – that often cost upwards of $100,000 – have significantly higher emissions, and are more dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists than regular passenger cars,” she wrote on Instagram.

“If we want to lower our transport emissions and reduce road fatalities, we need to see less of these monster cars on our streets.

“It’s an undeniable fact that super-sized vehicles are dangerous. They have blind spots up to four metres in front of the vehicle.

“And it is no coincidence that a child is eight times more likely to die being hit by a larger utility vehicle when compared to a lighter car. Not to mention the astonishing amount of pollution caused by these beasts.”

But Ratnam's criticisms pale in the face of Yarra City Council councillor Stephen Jolly's criticisms, with the inner-city Melbournian labelling anyone who buys a large vehicle and lives in an urban area an "idiot", as the council studies higher parking fees as a way to deter people driving bigger vehicles into its LGA.

"If you live in Fitzroy with the tiny streets that exist and you buy yourself a Hummer, you’re an absolute idiot and you need to be dealt with, with whatever way that council can deal with it,” Jolly said.

But it would appear the buyers of these trucks, many of whom do not live in urban Melbourne, aren't listening, Ram and Chevrolet are locked in a fierce battle to determine Australia's favourite American pick-up truck. Year-to-date figures paint a close picture between the two brands, with the latter securing 1519 sales so far in 2024, and Ram holding the lead with 1637 units delivered.

The Chevrolet Silverado opens with the 1500 LTZ Premium and now costs $130,500 before on-road costs after $2500 price increase earlier this year, attributed to the addition of the brand's active performance exhaust. It's powered by a monstrous 6.2-litre petrol V8 generating 313kW of power and 624Nm of torque.

The Ram 1500 family opens with the 1500 Big Horn short wheelbase, yours for $119,950 before on-road costs. It's powered by a 5.7-litre petrol V8, good for 291kW and 556Nm.

Soon to join the fray will be the Toyota Tundra, which is still under an on-road evaluation before official sales begin.

Andrew Chesterton
Contributing Journalist
Andrew Chesterton should probably hate cars. From his hail-damaged Camira that looked like it had spent a hard life parked at the end of Tiger Woods' personal driving range, to the Nissan Pulsar Reebok that shook like it was possessed by a particularly mean-spirited demon every time he dared push past 40km/h, his personal car history isn't exactly littered with gold. But that seemingly endless procession of rust-savaged hate machines taught him something even more important; that cars are more than a collection of nuts, bolts and petrol. They're your ticket to freedom, a way to unlock incredible experiences, rolling invitations to incredible adventures. They have soul. And so, somehow, the car bug still bit. And it bit hard. When "Chesto" started his journalism career with News Ltd's Sunday and Daily Telegraph newspapers, he covered just about everything, from business to real estate, courts to crime, before settling into state political reporting at NSW Parliament House. But the automotive world's siren song soon sounded again, and he begged anyone who would listen for the opportunity to write about cars. Eventually they listened, and his career since has seen him filing car news, reviews and features for TopGear, Wheels, Motor and, of course, CarsGuide, as well as many, many others. More than a decade later, and the car bug is yet to relinquish its toothy grip. And if you ask Chesto, he thinks it never will.
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