Thursday, April 8, 2010

The "lawnmower" car

Here you see the typical (for Europe anyway) SMART car. A great vehicle for the city - easy to park and easy to zoom around any crowded area and has enough motor in it to drive on the autostrada though it's hard to imagine that being loads of fun.
This thing below is about the same size but look closely at the license plate. You'll see the same type as on a scooter or moped - vehicles that don't require a driver's license to operate. I call 'em "lawnmower" cars because they seem to have the engine and drivetrain of the typical lawn tractor rather than a proper auto engine. As far as we can tell, these things (which are slow, a top speed of no more than 50 kph or so) can be driven by anyone from the old guy who can barely see to the smart-ass teenager (who probably figures out how to hop his up to go faster). Our friends tell us these lawnmowers cost more than a typical mini-car and are in high demand. Our guess is taxes on these might be lower as well. For cyclists none of this is good news as one of these glorified lawn tractors can take you out just as easily and effectively as a standard auto and are quite often piloted by folks who otherwise would NOT have a driver's license. We try to give them a wide berth when we see 'em on the roads.

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