§ 2.46 p.m.
§ LORD AIREDALE
My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether their proposal to make safety belts compulsory is intended to apply to new commercial vehicles as well as to new cars; and to the actual wear-ling of safety belts.]
THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY, MINISTRY OF TRANSPORT LORD CHESHAM)
My Lords, if I may answer the second part of the Question first, it is no part of my right honourable friend's intention to propose that the actual wearing of safety belts should be made compulsory. As to the type of vehicle to which the compulsory fitting of safety belts should apply, the House will be aware that regulations may not be made on, this subject until consultation has taken place with appropriate 460 organisations. My right honourable friend considers that the most urgent need is to protect the occupants of the front seats of private cars, and his proposals will be primarily directed to that end. Application to commercial vehicles would involve a number of considerations, of which the pros and cons are by no means so easy to determine. We intend to follow the statutory procedure and obtain the views of the organisations concerned, notably the operators and the manufacturers, before coming to a decision.
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, will the noble Lord note that the reply he gave to the last part of the noble Lord's Question—that the Government have no intention of compelling passengers in motor oars to be trussed up in safety belts—will be greeted with considerable satisfaction?
My Lords, as the noble Lord considers that passengers will benefit from safety belts in front seats, will he also consider, perhaps, safety belts being attached to Front Benches?