HC Deb 10 December 1998 vol 322 c248W
Mr. Sheerman

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) what steps he is taking to encourage motorists to use appropriate safety measures for child passengers; [62933]

(2) what plans he has to encourage motorists (a) to use seat belts and (b) to ensure that their passengers wear seat belts. [62984]

Ms Glenda Jackson

The Department's leaflet "Seat Belts and Child Restraints" which provides advice on the law, on selecting the right child restraint and on wearing by pregnant women is widely available. Advice is also provided in the 1996 version of the Department of Transport publication "Choosing Safety", published by the Stationery Office. Copies of both documents are in the Library of the House.

In the longer term, a standard method of attaching child restraints to cars will make fitting more straightforward. The UK has taken a leading role in the development of the ISOFIX system, which would provide standard attachment points on both child restraints and cars. We are keen for this system to be adopted as the European norm.

Following the successful campaign last July to encourage rear seat belt wearing we are considering further advertising in 1999. Surveys by the Transport Research Laboratory show an increase in rear seat belt wearing (children and adults) from 67 per cent. in April 1998 to 72 per cent. in October 1998, the highest figure yet reported by these regular surveys.