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Seat Belts

Volume 77: debated on Monday 15 April 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Transport (1) how many lives were estimated to have been saved since the introduction of the compulsory wearing of seat belts; and if he will make a statement;(2) if any evidence is available to him indicating an increase in the number of casualties and deaths of pedestrians and cyclists since the introduction of the compulsory wearing of seat belts; and if he will make a statement.

From February 1983 to September 1984, the 20 months immediately following the introduction of compulsory wearing of seat belts, there were 421 (18 per cent.) fewer car driver deaths and 235 (20 per cent.) fewer front seat passenger deaths than in the corresponding 20 months before compulsion.The number of car drivers and front and rear seat car passengers who were killed or seriously injured over the same period fell by 11,110 (19 per cent.); whereas the numbers of pedestrians and pedal cyclists who were killed or seriously injured by cars increased by 1,129 (5 per cent.) and by 1,223 (19 per cent.) respectively.Overall, the number of fatal and serious injuries to car occupants and to pedestrians, pedal cyclists, and motorcyclists who were hit by cars fell by 10,702 (10 per cent.). This included a reduction of 453 (7 per cent.) deaths.My Department will be issuing a paper later this year analysing the changes since seat belt wearing became compulsory.