I have been a reader of Motor Sport for many years and value it highly. One grows to tolerate your quirks; your judgement of a car by the ability of the glovebox to swallow an antique Rolleiflex camera (now retired?) and your anti-smoking opinion, these are things you may (and will!) express as often as you like.
On the subject of seat belts however, I must take you to task. Opposing the compulsory wearing thereof is one thing, and I would not argue about it. But when you go on to trot out the old and fallacious arguments about the dangers of belts, to discourage drivers from wearing them at all, I can only describe this as misguided and irresponsible.
People who dislike belts never tire of retailing stories of drowning and so forth — many of them of doubtful authenticity — but ignore the irrefutable evidence of serious injunes prevented and lives saved.
Please do not swallow all the stories you hear from a man who knew another man who was told by an ambulance man i policeman traffic warden of an accident in which someone was injured by a seat belt. Such incidents are very, very rare.
I know of cases in which aircrew have been killed by parachutes, and badly launched lifebelts have been known to kill people in shipwrecks. Are therefore parachutes and lifeboats to be condemned and abandoned as dangerous? This is precisely your argument against seat belts.
Leave yours off if you wish, but spare a thought for the Maxillo-Facial surgeons who spend a lot of time rebuilding faces which have smashed through windscreens.
I would suggest that before you write again to discourage the wearing of belts you would do well to talk to the staff of an Accident and Emergency department, and think again.
The question of compelling the public to wear belts is another matter entirely. Persuasion, yes; compulsion, no; it will almost certainly fail in its object.
Chichester, Sussex V. P. GEOGHEGAN