Having already stated my views on many occasions, having two family members alive today on police evidence ordy because they were not belted-in, I will not bore readers with the same comments. I have however kept cuttings over the past decade vividly illustrating both pictorially and literally how people have needlessly died by belt-wearing. I have repeatedly written to my MP, Mr. Irvine, who in turn has passed on these letters to Norman Fowler, Kenneth Clarke and Linda Chalker. but to absolutely no avail. Mr. Fowler is against compulsion as is the Prime Minister both of whom I wrote tobefore the last Election, on this and other equally important matters. Mr. Clarke seemed more interested in following
the crowd — on his bicycle — rather than making a serious attempt on our behalf. Mrs. Chalker is in my view as had as Barbara Castle and is equally arrogant.
The simple facts are that the “do-ganders” have pressed for compulsion for many years based on false information. I can prove this to anyone like Mr. Lockwood by showing him the make up sheet on the statistics given to me by the DOT. As a last resort I asked Linda Chalker if she would just ask the police chiefs to instruct their on-the-road officers to report all accidents where a car damaged beyond recognition !i.e. where no one could possibly survive) had been found sans driver, where it was obvious that he or she had escaped certain death by not being strapped into the car. Mrs. Chalker refused to do this; it would take up too much police time. I had explained that the figures (her own Transport figures) were suspect and as it was on these figures that the House had been asked to vote for or against the Bill curdy she had a moral responsibility to give the public the nue facts, not a hypothetical assessment which I can prove is the case now. The reason she is not prepared to do this is because I am convinced the true number of lives saved by not being belted-up is far higher than the statistics show at present and would therefore grossly reduce the pro-belters’ claim. Readers may also like to know that you will not be allowed to sue the Government, even if you can prove the Bill has caused the death oils loved one or a friend. I have this in writing from the Department. So how can this Bill, which is based on false evidence, he reassessed in three years thne if there is no yard-stick against which one can measure the mutts? I checked the casualties before and after the crash-hat law came into force and, as I had predicted, the casualty rate rose by 31 per cent. The Government were unable to give me figures showing a saving in life because they (the figures) do not exist. Which brings memo my last point. Mr. Lockwood criticises you, on your remark about the profiteering which will undoubtedly ensue from this Bill. May I remind Mr. Lockwood that the crash-hat legislation is making a fortune for the manufacturers, for none of the crash hats to my knowledge are guaranteed, even if not dropped, for more titan three years, which means upwards of f.40.00 a rider eve, three years. And you don’t call that profiteering Mr. Lockwood? It won’t be long before someone in the Government’s Spend-Tank will come up with the idea that buckles or belts only retain their strength or wear-resistance for “X” number of years and off we’ll go again. I have also predicted that the accident rate will rise with the introduction of compulsion just as it did with motorcycles but I expect the -do-gooders” will see to it that these figures are also kept well out of our reach or just plain overlooked whilst the allowed savings will be demonstrably overplayed as were the two showings of the pro-belt film on the television. I hare to disappoint Mr. Greaves but his optimism on writ* after the Bill will do no good whatsoever and even photographs will not deters Government of whatever colour. You will note that with the possible exception of Norman Fowler, no Transport Minister has shown an active interest in motor cars young or old. or in any aspect of pleasure motoring. Until we can face the Government, and frankly I’m fast (song hope of ever so doing, into listening to our case as they would t° Anhur Seargill or Moss Evans, then there is little hope. As for the so-called three-Yea?” experimental period, I’ll garie anyone odds that It will come and go just as the “temporary 711 m.p.h. limit did on the Motorways. and the death
toll caused by idiocy, poor driving and downright arrogance will continue unabated as it has done in Cimada and the speed-throttled USA. Horam HAROLD E. PARKIN [I ant sure that the many people who do not yet use seat-belts will agree — Ed.]