Scott Sexton forgets that those same "near-homicidal maniacs who pass for motor vehicle operators" in our area also purchase and operate SUVs [letters, June 4]. A likelier scenario than the one Mr. Sexton describes is that an SUV is going to plow into a much smaller vehicle. Of course, he and others have the right to protect themselves from danger, but let's not kid ourselves into thinking that SUVs are strictly a defense against such dangers -- in many cases they are the perpetrators.

KAREN CANOVA

Washington

When I read the headline of Geneva Overholser's May 28 op-ed piece, "Three Things I Hate About SUVs," I was surprised that the following reason not only did not head the list, but was not included: SUVs parked at the end of a block.

Every time I safely enter and exit an intersection in such a situation, I breathe a sigh of relief at having once again avoided a collision that could have been caused by these behemoths obstructing the view of cross-traffic.

H. ALAN YOUNG

Alexandria

I hereby accept with pleasure Geneva Overholser's invitation to join in raving against SUVs. Although I go out of my way to park between standard or smaller cars when I shop at the Giant, it never fails that I return to find my little Camry boxed in between these mammoth vehicles. First I have difficulty finding my car, and then I must back out with my heart in my throat -- hoping that I won't be hit by a car that I cannot see -- and whose driver can't see me.

I suggest a special section in every parking lot reserved for SUVs. After all, the owners are presumably healthy outdoorsmen who can easily deal with a small hike in inclement weather to get from their SUV to the store.

MARTHA P. POLING

McLean

The Post has published several articles demonizing SUV drivers. For more than 25 years I have held a number of positions with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, including Scoutmaster, and I take units to explore caves in West Virginia.

During various outings I drive on unplowed and poorly maintained mountain roads, which would be impassable without the SUV's high-road clearance and four-wheel drive.

Locally, during periods of bad weather, hospitals look for volunteers with four-wheel drive. Many of us with SUVs respond to these calls. I also have noticed that I can put many more miles on one of these vehicles before I have to trade it in than I could with a lighter vehicle.

I admit that SUVs have become a fad and are not being used for the purpose for which they were designed. Many of the huge luxury models also do not have enough ground clearance to be of use on the mountains that we visit.

RICHARD E. ROBINSON

Alexandria