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Motor Cyclists (Leg Protection)

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Transport for how long his Department has been carrying out research into leg protection for riders and passengers of two-wheel vehicles; what is the amount of time expended on such research in man hours; and what is the cumulative cost so far of this research.

The estimated cost of leg injuries from motor cycle accidents is some £186 million per year.The Transport and Road Research Laboratory carried out the first accident studies relating to motor cycles in 1970. These showed the need for leg protectors and a prototype design of protectors was exhibited as part of the first experimental safety motor cycle in 1979. The present in-depth study of leg protection began in 1982. Some of the work has been contracted out to Brunel university and to industry.The research time spent specifically on leg protection has been 8½ man years (13,000 man hrs) at TRRL and 3½ man years (5,000 man hrs) at Brunel. The engineering support for this research has been considerable and the cumulative cost of all the work is about £1·25 million at 1987 prices.