HC Deb 04 November 1959 vol 612 c1001
10. Mr. de Ferranti

asked the Minister of Transport if he will give an estimate of the reduction in the annual number of fatal accidents in the United Kingdom that could be achieved by the use of safety belts in passenger cars.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport (Mr. John Hay)

The Road Research Laboratory is investigating a series of crashes but it has not yet proceeded far enough for the kind of estimate my hon. Friend has in mind to be made.

Mr. de Ferranti

Is my hon. Friend aware that on the basis of the investigation carried out by the Cornell University in the United States the number of lives which could be saved here is about 700 a year? As this means that for every day's delay two lives are lost, would he consider immediately launching a publicity campaign and possibly making it compulsory for all official cars to have safety belts?

Mr. Hay

I am aware of the experiment in the United States to which my hon. Friend has referred. If I may use an Americanism, I think that we must not "play this by hunch". We must investigate the situation in the light of circumstances in this country, which are not necessarily the same as in the United States. I will certainly consider his second suggestion. He may like to know that I have a belt fitted in my car. I hope he has, too.

Mr. H. Hynd

Does the Minister agree that progress could be made in this matter if he would give information which his predecessors have always refused to give—information about the types of car involved in fatal accidents?

Mr. Hay

I should like to look at that question.

Forward to