Belting Up

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Sir,

Your not infrequent asides to the wearers of safety belts imply your dislike and distrust of the equipment they use. I cannot recall seeing in MOTOR SPORT an objective appraisal of “safety harness” but others have concluded that the wearing of it reduces the severity of injury in the event of an accident.

MOTOR SPORT, in its eminent position in the field of motoring journalism, is well placed to provide a reasoned review of experienced drivers’ opinions on the wearing of safety belts.

What do the experts say – do any of them owe their lives to safety belts or are they just expensive cumbersome gadgets ?

May we know why you, Sir, dislike them to the point of giving an adverse dig whenever the opportunity arises.

H. D. TENNANT.

Good Easter.

(I do not deny that lives and limbs have been preserved by safety-belts. But I do not use them in my car for the same reason that I do not take a parachute when I fly in a private or commercial aeroplane. Nor do I strap myself in bed, stand up with my arms outstretched in a railway carriage or sit with a Pyrene in my lap in front of the fire. Not that life isn’t worth prolonging – I do not smoke, or drink to excess, and I prefer fresh to stale air – but when Erik Carlsson demonstrated a rally Saab to me in Sweden his comment was “Strap yourself in if you want to; I never do,” and somehow those words have stuck. But I am using for 1964 a Britax diary, which I hope will prove a good omen in keeping me clear of impacts, which is far better than being in an impact, however secure the pre-take-off belting-up procedure. N.B. – I do believe in seat belts for sleepy passengers and all girl-friends. But it does amuse me to see people strapped firmly to their cars and smoking cigarettes as fast as they can light them. – ED.)

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