Legislation

Sir,

I have been a keen reader of MOTOR SPORT for a considerable number of years now and provided a useful tally of signatures for your anti-70 petition.

I should like some information on a current subject near to both our minds at this moment -seatbelts.

Having driven every conceivable type of machine, racers excepted, and held a clean 'sheet' since 1954 (less one speeding? 36 m.p.h. to avoid a certain accident) I feel that I can fairly comment on the "safety of the belt".

Shortly after their general acceptance accidents increased, most certainly in my opinion due to the "cowboys" feeling that the strap was St. Christopher himself, and the "off we go boys, we can't get hurt" attitude. Meanwhile I continued unbelted but accident-free due, I feel, to an ever active interest in my driving and the car I drive (I'm also a qualified mechanic), plus an earnest endeavour to avoid contact with everything else on the road. I also deliberately refrained from going "comprehensive" with my insurance, rightly or wrongly theorising that if I prang through my own negligence, then it serves me right and I'll have t,o pay. On the other hand I always possess tape-measure and paper so that, should someone prang me, I shall be prepared to. see that the offender is brought to heel and that he/she will foot the bill.

However to return to the "belt": two of my own family have been saved - proved by police and witnesses, through not wearing belts. My brother-in-law would certainly have been removed from this earth in seconds, had he not been thrown from his Imp which was crushed almost to Oxo cube proportions. He was barely bruised and required no treatment other than the usual check for shock. Now let us suppose Mr. Peyton continues his idiotic purge and compels us to belt up. Can our next-of-kin file a claim against the Government as Roche has done on a different matter?

After all to place a speed limit, albeit a crazy one, is one thing a politician's palliative but to compel people to be strapped to a vehicle which could kill them is surely culpable homicide?

A murderer does have the right of appeal and nowadays he isn't killed off for the most heinous crimes

Why or how then, can the public accept a law which must from proven cases kill hundreds every year, and how can politicians pass such a law? Do they realise they're condoning murder in cold blood in many instances, for with a threat of losing their licence most people will wear a belt for that reason only and like my relative who survived they must die in a similar accident.

Will Mr Peyton try to fob the blame on the other party involved? If this be the case I shudder to think of insurance premiums in the future. I'd like to know, please, where one would stand in a court of law after an accident, where the belt is proven to be the killer. Who would we sue?

Keep up the good work Mr Boddy, there aren't many of you left I'm afraid.

Hailsham. H.E. PARKIN