Compulsory seat belts

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Sir,

Re: compulsory wearing of seat belts . . . I agree entirely with Mr. J. C. Armstrong (March issue) and am so glad he has cancelled his membership of the AA, for I have cancelled my standing order for one of your weekly contemporaries (having been a fairly regular reader for nearly 40 years) for the very same reason.

My wife (26-1/2 years driving and no mishaps) and myself (41-1/2 ditto) currently use an Alfa Romeo Giulietta and a British Salmson S4C (recently replacing a vintage AC Six) for quite a bit of commuting, as well as pleasure, in our total annual mileage of over 25,000. Neither of these cars, of course, has seat belts fitted.

We have tried seat belts—inertia-reel (surely the “best” type?), as fitted to Citroëns for years—but the feeling (and look) of being infants strapped into our high chairs became so oppressive that it affected our driving skills.

I also have a Lancia Fulvia HP, whose seat belts are safely tucked under the rear carpet, where we can’t catch our heels in them (which I once did, and twisted my knee—severely!).

My job necessitates getting in and out of a car anything up to thirty times a day . . . How long would it take me to wear a buckle out—not to mention my temper and fingernails?

The RAC (as a rule, not much more helpful than the AA) do at least say . . . “The time is not yet ripe for the compulsory wearing of seat belts” . . . I hope—and pray—that the time will never, be ripe for such legislation for it would not only put an end to all our (and your) vintage and PVT motoring, but would almost certainly render me accident-prone, which seems a pity, after all these years.

Anyway, I do not anticipate having to cancel my order for Motor Sport!

R.H. Canter – Crewe.

[I never wear one but would not wish this to influence those who enjoy so doing—especially passengers. Let it remain a matter for individual discretion, like eating and drinking.—Ed.]

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