HC Deb 10 June 1959 vol 606 cc971-2
37. Mr. Strauss

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will now take steps to publicise the value of safety belts and harness in preventing injuries from car accidents.

Mr. Nugent

The British Standards Institution is actively pursuing the framing of a standard specification for seat belts and harness; pending its adoption it would be premature to undertake a public campaign to encourage their use.

Mr. Strauss

That may be so. Is the the Joint Parliamentary Secretary aware that Cornell University initiated a research study into this matter and found that no less than 60 per cent. of the injuries resulting from car accidents could be avoided if seat harness and belts were generally adopted? In view of that very striking figure, will he take the earliest opportunity, as soon as the work of the Institution is completed, to publicise this fact and to embody it in all road safety campaigns?

Mr. Nugent

Yes, Sir, certainly. I accept that if all drivers and passengers wore harness which was fully effective, it would save a large number of injuries. But to achieve this the harness must be fully effective both in itself and in its attachments and it must be univer- sally used. As soon as we have standards we will give the matter the fullest possible publicity.