MP belts up

Alistair Darling with Mark Tami

Alyn & Deeside MP Mark Tami has met with Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, ‘belting up’ to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the change in the law which made wearing seat belts compulsory for drivers and front seat passengers.

The Department for Transport estimates that, since then, seat belts have saved thousands of lives and prevented hundreds of thousands of serious injuries to motorists and passengers.

Mark Tami MP said: “Despite this I am concerned that people are much less willing to wear seat belts in the back than up front, despite it being compulsory since 1991. Over 90% of drivers and front seat adult passengers belt up but less than 60% of adults in the back.

We forget that once there was controversy about the benefits of wearing seat belts. These figures are a great tribute to the early work done by the former Labour minister, Barbara Castle

Now it is accepted that wearing seat belts both in the front and the back of cars saves lives and reduces injuries in road accidents. That’s why I’m asking everybody to remember to belt up when travelling in the front of a car but also to belt up in the back.”

Notes to Editors
Some Seatbelt Facts

  • In 2001, wearing a seatbelt in the front saved an estimated 2,278 lives

  • The latest surveys show that over 90% of adult front seat passengers and drivers wear seatbelts

  • In the back, over 90% of children wear seatbelts or child restraints. That rises to 97% for the youngest children aged up to 4. But adults are much less conscientious, with only 57% wearing seatbelts in the back

  • As many as 15 front seat occupants are killed each year by the impact of an unbelted rear seat passenger

  • If back seat passengers were to wear seatbelts as often as drivers or front seat passengers, 30 more adults could be saved each year.