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Safety Regulations (Belts)

Volume 480: debated on Wednesday 8 November 1950

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43.

asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Civil Aviation whether he is satisfied that the regulations which require passengers to fasten seat belts before landing are conducive to the safety of passengers; and if he will further investigation into the matter.

The weight of evidence shows that this regulation is conducive to the safety of passengers. I do not consider that a special investigation into this particular regulation is necessary, but the evidence of recent accidents, as in all previous cases, will be very carefully examined in relation to this question of passenger safety.

Will my hon. Friend bear in mind that in several recent air crashes none of the passengers who was fastened by a safety belt survived, whereas some members of the crew who were not fastened in by a safety belt were thrown clear, and escaped with their lives?

I know that publicity has been given to that, but there are other factors involved, and it would be wrong to draw the conclusion which my hon. Friend obviously draws.

Does not my right hon. Friend think that it would add to the safety of passengers if instead of the seating arrangements compelling them to sit facing the pilot's cabin, passengers sat with their backs towards it?