A woman who is “fed up” with SUVs polluting the atmosphere has been deflating their tyres on her walk home from work.
The mum-of-three, who claims to have deflated the tyres of 80 vehicles, did not like how many 4x4s she was seeing on the roads, so she decided to take action.
The 62-year-old, who wishes to remain anonymous, lives near Battersea, southwest London, and claims she is aware of the illegal nature of what she is doing but is not worried about being arrested.
The writer, volunteer, and film worker, told reports MyLondon: “It started about 10 years ago. I remember when the Smart Cars came out and I thought it would change the way we travel around cities.
“I realised after a while that this wasn’t the case, I just kept seeing cars getting bigger and bigger.
“It angered me because I just thought that they are so unnecessary in size.
“The cars are releasing carbon emissions and polluting the area around me and I can’t do anything about it.
“They’re being imposed on me and I thought for a long time about what I could do about it.
“Then I found out about the Tyre Extinguisher movement.”
In her reasoning for what led her to start deflating tyres, she made some sweeping statements which categorised SUV drivers as “aggressive” and “selfish”.
She likened their drivers to “smokers” and thought that, like smoking indoors, SUVs should “be banned”.
After considering options to try and protest the use of SUVs, her first deflation came when she concluded that putting flyers on cars’ windscreens “wouldn’t work”.
Instead, she now uses her walk home, through West London, to deflate tyres by unscrewing their caps.
Continuing, she explained why she felt the need to take a step into tyre deflation, saying: “If people won’t be considerate then action needs to be taken. It is the same with cigarettes.
“I do it [deflate tyres] on my way back from work.
“I would say that so far I have deflated 80 different cars.
“I don’t want to be doing it and I don’t enjoy it but it’s an extreme reaction that comes from desperation.
“If the government won’t do anything then what else can we do?”
Her reasons came down to her beliefs that SUVs were climate change inducing and also her more general view of those who own SUVs as being “selfish”.
Whilst carrying out her “climate change action”, she has been confronted by one of those she detests, an SUV owner.
“I was caught by an owner one time when I had my hand on his tyre cap. I don’t often do it in the day but this time I did”, she explains.
“He was in a coffee shop across the road and saw me do it, he walked out and came up to confront me.
“I explained what I was doing and to be honest, by the end of it, he actually told me that he ‘understands where I’m coming from’.”
After being caught by the SUV owner she spoke on how she would feel if she was caught by the law.
Deflating tyres is criminal damage so there is always a threat of being arrested.
She said: “I don’t mind about being caught by the police. I have talked about it a lot with friends and family but that just isn’t something I’m scared off.
“I’m more scared about being confronted by angry drivers, I don’t care so much about the police.”
She might not care about the police but there is also the question of endangering vehicle user’s safety.
If a car is driven when the tyre is flat then the driver and passengers could be injured in a crash.
She said she had “considered that” but didn’t think the “danger SUVs are causing” outweighs the threat to injury she is.
She said she will continue to delate tyres until “the government notices”.
She deflates as a representative of Tyre Extinguishers who want to make it impossible to own “a huge polluting 4×4 in the world’s urban areas.”
Deflating a car’s tyre which isn’t yours can be classed as criminal damage, the offence is punishable with a prison sentence.