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Government urged to pressure motorists to opt for 'cleaner' cars

An MP is demanding Government grants to persuade drivers to buy cleaner, greener and safer cars - and taxes to penalise those who choose gas guzzlers.

Crewe and Nantwich MP Gwyneth Dunwoody, chairman of the Commons Transport Committee, is calling for the development of 'intelligent vehicles' which reject drunken drivers and refuse to operate if motorists exceed the speed limit.

She said: "The Government must ensure that incentives encourage manufacturers to introduce cleaner technologies and safety systems in cars, which consumers are then encouraged to buy.

"The UK must not miss the opportunity to have cars within the next decade that prevent someone driving if they are drunk, uninsured or untaxed."

Dunwoody added: "The number of drink-drive casualties on the UK's roads has been rising and if research demonstrates that newly-developed alcolocks prevent re-offending, we expect to see the technology introduced at the earliest opportunity.

"Alcohol ignition locks, which prevent a car starting if a breath test is failed, have proved an effective counter-measure to reduce re-offending among convicted drink-drivers in parts of America."

The committee has asked Transport Minister David Jamieson to look into introducing such technology to tackle repeat offenders.

It claims the Government has spent 'trivial amounts' in developing cars which do not do enough to tackle global warming problems and must do more to make sure the industry designs a new generation of cars which are cleaner and greener.

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