HC Deb 24 July 1985 vol 83 cc543-4W
Mr. Jessel

asked the Secretary of State for Transport if he will make a statement about the mandatory fitting of rear seat belts in the light of the recommendation in the Transport Committee report on road safety.

Mrs. Chalker

I welcome this recommendation from the Select Committee. Rear seat belts have great potential for saving lives and reducing injuries, and it is right that they should be fitted to new cars to provide rear seat passengers with the opportunity to protect themselves. It is also most important that parents should be encouraged to provide child restraints for younger children. The Department is therefore circulating draft regulations which would make rear seat belts or child restraints a legal requirement for all new cars manufactured from October 1986, and first registered from April 1987. The draft regulations provide for different types of belt or restraint to be fitted so as to meet European Community obligations and to allow individuals to choose the most suitable type of belt for themselves or restraints for their children. The regulations also require a seat belt to be fitted in the centre front seat of cars and light vehicles where such a seat is provided.