Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Cyd
There is a news item on our local radio today that it is 20 years since the wearing of seatbelts became compulsory. Over this time 375 deaths and 7000 serious injuries per year have been saved. So, hip hip hooray for Volvo.

What puzzles me though is that the news item goes on to say that Road Safety Officers are currently out in force reminding people how great seatbelts are. This is fine, but the news item closes with a soundbite from one of these RSOs who says " is the responsibility of the driver to ensure all passengers are wearing their seatbelts..."

Now I thought that the drivers responsibility in this respect extended only to him/her self and any passengers under 16. Older passengers are self-responsible. Has this changed?
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - THe Growler
Seems like a no-brainer to me. Driver is i/c the vehicle, ergo he is responsible for complying with the law and ensuring his passengers do also.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Ian (Cape Town)
Agree with Growler...
If some moron doesn't want to wear a belt, then he doesn't ride in my car.
In the event of a collision, why should I suffer some 80kg cretin bouncing unrestrained round the interior, while I'm buckled up?
BTW, as stupid as this nation's laws were at the time, we were one of the first countries in the world to make wearing seatbelts compulsory, back in the 70s.
Shame they've given up policing said laws, but ...
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Ian (Cape Town)
Ooops! should have read
"Shame they've given up policing said LAW, but ..."
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - RichardW
To the letter of the law, the driver is only responsible for passengers under the age of 14. However, I agree with Ian that the driver should act responsibly and request his passengers (especially the one sat behind!) to wear their belts.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - smokie
"(especially the one sat behind!)"

That recent advertising campaign "most people are killed by someone they know" highlighted this soooo well, and I now always make sure the rear seat passengers are belted in.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Ian (Cape Town)
Never be afraid to tell the back-seaters to belt up.

Take that how you will. :)
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - cockle {P}
Shame they've given up policing said laws, but ...

To be fair Ian I did actually see a traffic police car in lane 2 about a fortnight ago passing a row of queuing traffic in lane 1 stopping every three or four vehicles and telling the drivers to put their belts on and refusing to leave until they had.
Sadly, as you say, we don't seem to see that many traffic police about these days to police these sorts of things, but that's another story.....

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Cyd
Totally agree. No one rides in my car without the belt on, but thanks to Richard for answering the question.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - SjB {P}
Agree totally.
A couple of years ago, whilst on holiday abroad, I gave a lift to a friend, and their children. The 8 year old boy sat in the middle of the back seat refused to belt up, so I parked the car until he did! I was branded as over-reacting, but I still stand by what I did.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Galaxy
My boss of the place I used to work at flatly refused to wear a seat belt, even after it was made law, because he said he objected to being told what to do by a government he didn't vote for.

If you were driving with him in the car he would hold the seat belt across himself so it appeared that he was wearing it correctly, but did not engage it, so he wasn't. Crazy!!!

I don't think I've ever come across anyone showing such stupid behaviour!
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Dave_TD
I have. I give up with some people, but I'll always stay put until any kids are belted in.
The worst ones are those with very young babies in carry-seats who don't want to strap the (purpose-designed) seat in, but say they'll hold on to it tightly... I just treat them as though they were joking, and strap the seat in for them.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - No Do$h
What an opportunity to enrich the genepool of the human race. One emergency stop later....

Back on topic, one of my colleagues refuses to wear a belt as one of her friends was killed in a crash and her body had to be cut out. Michelle has got it into her head that if her friend didn't have a belt on they may have been thrown clear.

What upsets me is that she has a brand new car with an airbag. Now what will happen to her if she has a moderately low impact? Face on steering wheel, airbag deploys, bits of face being picked out of sunroof, headrest, back seat... and that's if she's lucky. I've tried everything but she still insists on adopting this approach.

Can anyone suggest any ideas on how I might persuade her to wear a belt? As well as being a colleague she is a good friend and I don't want to be there at her funeral thinking there was more I could have done.

FWIF, I too insist that everyone is belted before I will start the car.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Dwight Van Driver
Richard W.

There could be aid, abet, counsel or procure a passenger not to wear a seat belt by the driver if the right questions were asked and the right answers given.


Take her to Casualty after a serious RTA and view the injuries even possibly with a seat belt. Without a seat belt, next door the Mortuary.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Dave_TD

EU/UK cars have smaller airbags than USA cars, the EU/UK cars' airbags are designed to be effective only in conjunction with seatbelts, whereas in the USA they don't expect a belt to be worn and the 'bags are bigger to compensate. The EU/UK smaller airbags stand a greater chance of inflating correctly to do their job, simply because they don't have as much inflating to do.
And the airbag wouldn't spread bits of your friend all over the interior of the car, it doesn't smack the user in the face. It more "catches" them as their head moves towards the steering wheel - think of a baseball or cricket catcher with a padded glove on, catching a fast-moving ball without hurting their hand.
How to persuade her to wear a belt? Refuse point-blank to move off until she puts it on, no matter how long it takes. Explain to her a little bit about the laws of physics, what happens where and when in a crash, etc.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - No Do$h

It's precisely because the smaller EU bags are designed to work with the belt that they pose a greater danger than the US bags. It's all to do with trigger times and inflations speed.

With the US bags the deployment cycle starts earlier, the bag inflating before the unrestrained occupant gets near it. With the UK/EU bags they inflate later, but more violently as the occupant's journey towards the bag is meant to be limited by the seatbelt. If you don't have a belt on, you will have your face against the steering boss when the deployment starts. VERY messy.

I worked for Ford when the introduced the Mondeo and had the pleasure of viewing the data and training material to support this.

EU airbags without the belt are truly lethal.

My biggest worry is when she's driving her own car rather than being a passenger in mine. Typical Saxo VTR driver. Need I say more?

Thanks for your prompt response though, always appreciated.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - KB.
No Dosh, You could try the following....go to your nearest traffic police office and ask if they can speak to her and also fish out a few of their own photo's taken on scene OR even get them to take her out for a shift. The chances are that after a few hours in their company she will have a change of heart.

I might have suggested having her as a front seat passenger and suddenly applying the brakes on a quiet stretch, but that might have complications - especially if the bag went off. Many years ago I did an emergency stop in my 1952 Morris Minor and my then girlfriend/now wife hit the screen - and that was without actually hitting anything - and, as you can imagine, the brakes on a '52 MM were not exactly red hot.

If she'll listen, tell her to take it from me, getting thrown out of a car has it's drawbacks, usually fatal ones - you're far better off in the car - the newer the car the better and generally, the bigger the better - but certainly use the belt!!!!!

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - No Do$h
Thanks for the advice folks.

I'm having a chat with one of the local traffic officers this weekend about an incident I witnessed so will take the opportunity to mention this to them.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Tom Shaw
Of course, the argument your friend might counter with is that it is no business of you or the government as to what risks she decides to take with her own safety, provided she does not put anyone else at risk.

By the way, I wore a seatbelt from when I first started driving, long before usage was made compulsory. But then, maybe I am one of the minority who seem able to decide on their personal risk assessment for themselves, without Nanny having to tell them what to do.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - THe Growler
Thank you Tom Shaw. I have a Confederate Flag in my office.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Cardew
And you will pay privately for all the costs of your hospital treatment?

I take your point about the nanny state but surely there are some things ---- ???

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - THe Growler
Sorry Cardew, gave wrong impression. I object to the nanny state ramming down my throat in words of one syllable what is patently obvious to an eight year old.

I wear a seat belt for the obvious reasons and always have. I don't need some pimple in a gov't office to tell me.

Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Nortones2
Tom, surely, Nanny state came about because of the inability of many to assess risk, and of individuals to take effective action on their own. Circa 1840 and lack of sanitation, sewers, water supplies? The same arguments were made then by conservatives (small c), that no-one should be forced to act on issues to do with their own home/business.

However, on a trial basis, it could be arranged that, if injured, your unrestrained freedom lover, exempt from a burdensome law requiring seat belt wearing, would not seek treatment for injury though the NHS. How many takers would you expect?
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - A Dent{P}
I remember this anniversary because I passed my car test on the day. I had enough of three cold motorcycling years.
Re No Dosh's friend and other of a similar persuasion, a trip around a scrap yard might do some good, where you can often find your own model smashed up. Imagine that.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Tom Shaw
And how about if all smokers, drinkers, drug takers, rugby players, mountain climbers, white water rafters, people who eat more than the governments recommended number of eggs per week etc etc had to pay the costs of their own treatment as well?

Or do you want it both ways?
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Cyd
I too always wore a belt - long before it was compulsory. But then my Aunt was a medical secretary in the Plastic Surgery department at Withington Hospital - back then the vast majority of plastic surgery at this leading-edge hospital was carried out on RTA victims and most were extremely horrific examples.

Also in recent years I've been involved in safety issues at the OEMs and like No Dosh have seen many videos of crash tests as well as real crash tests. Anyone who thinks airbags are dangerous or seatbelts unnecessary is talking complete piffle - you might as well go be a human shield in Iraq.
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Tom Shaw
Nobody here has argued against the obvious benifits of wearing a seat belt, I would never drive without one. But if someone choose too, bearing in mind that he or she is causing no danger to any other person, whose business is it but their own?
Seatbelt - 20th Anniversary - Tom Shaw
There undoubtably have been instances where a front seat passenger has died as a result of being hit someone in the rear seat being thrown forward in an accident, but has anyone ever heard of one? I can't recall one myself.

Some of the claims, like that quoted by HJ do seem rather preposterous.


Value my car