A Sheffield dad has been left furious after waking up to find one his tyres had been let down – and a note on his windscreen from a group saying they had deliberately targeted his ‘gas guzzler’ car.
Russell Denton, 36, from Greystones, was heading to the gym early this morning when he discovered the damage to his Land Rover Discovery by a group calling themselves the ‘Tyre Extinguishers’.
The protest group left a note on his vehicle saying ‘it’s not you, it’s your car’ and said his driving of an SUV was ‘pure vanity’.
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He is one of hundreds of SUV owners who will have woken up to a similar problem, according to the group, who say vehicles across the UK were “disarmed” overnight.
The dad-of-three, who says he needs the car to safely transport his children, has hit back at the protesters.
Russell said: “It is unfair. It is unfounded. It isn’t right to be targeting people when you don’t know their background.”
“I understand their views, and everyone is entitled to their own opinion about what needs to be done; however, vandalising someone’s vehicle is not the way of getting your point across.”
He added that he has “a larger vehicle than most” because of his three young children, who range in age from 18 months to 8-years-old.
“For safety reasons they have to sit in the backseats, and there’s not many cars out there that do cater for three kids car seats across the back,” Russell explained. “I wouldn’t have a bigger car if I didn’t have three young children, and as they grow older I probably will go back down to a smaller car.”
He also worried the action could put people in danger.
He pointed out he might have needed the car for an overnight emergency and said he could have started driving this morning without realising he had been targeted, since he initially didn’t think to stop to read the flyer in the dark.
“I could have just got in, driven it down the road and caused further damage to my car or had an accident,” said Russell.
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He believes similar protests could also cause unfair disruption to many, with a neighbour commenting on a Facebook post he shared about his experience adding that they had been unable to go to work as a community nurse after their vehicle was targeted.
Fortunately, a colleague was able to attend the children the nurse was supposed to be visiting.
In the letter left on Russell’s car, The Tyre Extinguishers wrote: “You’ll be angry, but don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s your car.
“We did this because driving around urban areas in your massive vehicle has huge consequences for others.”
As well as citing pollution, the group claimed: “Psychological studies show SUV drivers are more likely to take risks on the road. SUVs are unnecessary, and pure vanity.”
A spokesperson for the group also told Yorkshire Live: “Because governments and politicians have failed to protect us from this danger, we must protect ourselves.
“SUVs are a climate disaster, pollute our town and cities and are dangerous to other road users and pedestrians.
“We are taking this action because politely asking for clean air, a safe climate and safe streets has failed.”
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Keyword: Yorkshire dad's fury as Tyre Extinguisher vigilantes target his 4x4 'gas guzzler'