§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Minister of Transport how many lives would have been saved and how many serious injuries averted per annum had the wearing of seat belts been made compulsory: and what proportion of drivers and front seat passengers actually wear seat belts under a voluntary regime.
§ Mr. Fowler
The wearing of seat belts reduces deaths and injuries to both drivers and passengers. The number of lives and serious injuries saved by compulsion would depend on the difference between the wearing rate achieved and the present all hours wearing rate of about 25 per cent.—30 per cent. during daylight hours. An illustration of the potential savings from higher wearing rates is as follows:
Potential savings All hours seat belt wearing rate Killed Seriously injured 100 per cent 1,000 10,000 75 per cent 650 6,500 50 per cent 300 3,000
In addition, the hon. Member might be interested to know that the current wearing rate for drivers on motorways is now nearly 50 per cent.