Safe Speed Forums

The campaign for genuine road safety
It is currently Sat Dec 16, 2017 19:45

All times are UTC [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

Should seatbelt use be mandatory, or left for people to choose?
Poll ended at Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:22
Yes - should be mandatory 75%  75%  [ 18 ]
No - should be optional 25%  25%  [ 6 ]
Total votes : 24
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 12:22 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 13:41
Posts: 514
Location: Thames Valley
It's almost 23 years since the wearing of seatbelts became mandatory for front seat occupants of cars. As I recall, the RTA death toll dropped by 40% from ~5000 fatalaties a year to ~3000. The law was instigated by RoSPA.

Some people were opposed to seatbelts, saying they would not save lives or would actually increase the risk of death in some cases. Others were opposed to the law on the grounds that the individuals themselves should be allowed the freedom to choose whether or not to wear seatbelts, and not to have that decision made for them by the law.

I'd like to know how you feel about this. I'll run the poll for a week, will keep my silence until it's over in order not to bias the poll.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 14:09 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Sun Sep 26, 2004 01:59
Posts: 280
They introduced the law at the same time as crackdown on drink driving, didn't they?

Anyway, I'm going for optional for "consenting adults", although that doesn't stop it from being a damn foolish thing to do.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 16:55 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
I've said mandatory because of the flying passenger effects in the event of a crash. Sure, that's more an issue for rear seat passengers flying into the front seats rather than the other way round, but I suppose it's possible for an unrestrained front seat passenger to go flying about in a T bone collision. IMO ht eonly time it should be completely optional would be if the driver is on their own, which seems like an unnecessary complication. Might as well just say they're mandatory, but encourage the police to use discretion when dealing with seatbelt offences involving only one occupant.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 18:27 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
There's NOTHING in the overall crash stats to indicate a road safety benefit from the front seat belt law. One day in early 1983 the proportion of drivers and front seat passengers wearing seat belts jumped from 10%ish to 90%ish. We'd expect to see a benefit... There's none. But we did get this:

Image

It looks like we moved the risks around a bit - less for vehicle occupants, greater for pedestrians.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 18:56 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2005 14:00
Posts: 1270
Location: Near Telford, UK / Barcelona, Spain
SafeSpeed wrote:
There's NOTHING in the overall crash stats to indicate a road safety benefit from the front seat belt law. One day in early 1983 the proportion of drivers and front seat passengers wearing seat belts jumped from 10%ish to 90%ish. We'd expect to see a benefit... There's none.

I'd have thought that there'd have been a substantial decrease in minor injuries. I had friends who worked in A&E at the time and they said that there was a definite reduction in facial, chest and head injuries from relatively minor shunts.

_________________
"Politicians are the same the world over... We build bridges where there aren't any rivers." - Nikita Kruschev


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 19:32 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
pogo wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
There's NOTHING in the overall crash stats to indicate a road safety benefit from the front seat belt law. One day in early 1983 the proportion of drivers and front seat passengers wearing seat belts jumped from 10%ish to 90%ish. We'd expect to see a benefit... There's none.

I'd have thought that there'd have been a substantial decrease in minor injuries. I had friends who worked in A&E at the time and they said that there was a definite reduction in facial, chest and head injuries from relatively minor shunts.


Sure. But notice I said 'overall'. There are no steps at all in any of the overall figures. Those kinks in the graph above are the ONLY data that appears to show an overall effect of the seat belt law. And it's a double edged sword.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Sep 26, 2005 21:55 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Fri Apr 09, 2004 14:04
Posts: 2325
Location: The interweb
Vote: mandatory for children and optional for adults, at least adults in the front, maybe mandatory for all rear seat passengers.

I'll keep wearing mine and not just because of that annoying beeping noise if I don't. :lol:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 08:12 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:42
Posts: 155
While I would never be in a moving car without a seatbelt, and no-one rides with me unless they belt up, I hate this 'legislate for everything' and 'if it moves - ban it' culture we are turning into, so I voted for optional.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 08:48 
Offline
Former Police Officer
Former Police Officer
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2004 00:27
Posts: 351
SafeSpeed wrote:

Sure. But notice I said 'overall'. There are no steps at all in any of the overall figures. Those kinks in the graph above are the ONLY data that appears to show an overall effect of the seat belt law. And it's a double edged sword.


Paul please correct me if I am being thick but......

The Graph does not represent the actual number of casuaties as a data source but type of casualties as a percentage. Thus if the vehicle occupant percentage of casualties drops by 10% that percentage will be represented as an increase in another catagory, even if the actual number of casualties had reduced.

For example:

lets say that there are 1000 casualties in a given year 200 motorcyclists (20%), 500 other vehicles (50%) and 300 Pedestrians (30%).

An piece of legislation is introduced (such as seat belts) which reduces overall casualties by 100 to 900 made up of 200 motorcyclists (22%) 400 other vehicles (44%) and 300 pedestrians (33%),

Such percentage data would give the indication of a moving problem exactly as your graph.

Without the underlying data any percentages are pretty worthless.

IMHO the wearing of seatbelts in a car is a real safety benefit, without the law people didn't and would still not wear them. I put it in the same bracket as wearing a M/C helmet it's not nice that personal choice was taken away but necessary becouse people failed to choose smartly when they were given the choice.

_________________
Former Military Police Officer and accident investigator


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 09:55 
Offline
Police Officer and Member
Police Officer and Member

Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 22:53
Posts: 565
Location: Kendal
Air bags have IMO complemented the benefit offered by seatbelts, but I believe their major contribution has been the reduction in number of serious facial injuries, rather than fatals.

For that reason I believe the legislation should always be enforced, although I accept that the theory of risk homeostasis will probably add risk to vulnerable road users.

Some definitive stats on the benefits against possible added risk would help, but I don't think these stats exist.

_________________
Fixed ideas are like cramp, for instance in the foot, yet the best remedy is to step on them.

Ian


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 00:23 
Offline
Police Officer
Police Officer

Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 22:37
Posts: 279
Location: Warrington
I am a great beleiver in the wearing of seat belts as they do save lives more often than not. the reason that I think they are trying to enforce the wearing of seat belts more is the cost of treatment upon the NHS which is going through the roof.
My experiences over the last few years is that very few people involved in collisions and who dont wear seatbelts wont admit it,why? I dont know perhaps the fear that they will get fined if they admit it,but more shocking is the tragic loss of lives where seat belts undoubtedly would have saved them a couple of examples.
1.Car hits lampost driver ejected out of passenger window.
2.Car hits van head on f/s/pass and r/s/pass thrown through windscreen
3.LGV overturns driver falls through open window truck falls on him
4.Car hits wall teeth imbeded in n/s pass dashboard prior to ejection
all of the above could have been avoided if seatbelts worn sad waste of lives,is it right or wrong legislation was brought in to stop this but it still happensim sad to say.
Stephen


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 00:53 
Offline
Member
Member

Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 00:24
Posts: 2400
Location: Kendal, Cumbria
I can't make my mind up where I stand on this one.

On the one hand I'm a rigorous believer in seatbelt wearing - feel naked without one on! Have drummed it into my kids so they would shriek at any driver who tried to set off before they were belted in.

But I'm not sure about the civil liberties angle. I definitely agree that there should be a law covering their use for children, but for responsible adults I'm not entirely convinced we really have a right to intervene in order to "save people from themselves" in this way.

Perhaps this is only a backlash to the current "nanny state" government by me, as ten years ago I'd almost certainly have been resoundingly in favour, but now I'm leaning more and more towards the philosophy that if someone knowingly wishes to expose themselves to a calculated risk then do we really have the right to stop them? We've fought hard for centuries to gain civil liberties, and I worry about them being squandered for little real gain.

I don't buy the financial / NHS argument either. If we accept this as a valid justification then where do we stop? Obviously we ban smoking, as that kills far more then seatbelt non-wearing ever will, then we ban motor-cycling, rock-climbing, sailing, cycling etc, as all these would also involve an elevated risk of cost to the NHS that a ban could reduce.

I'm not saying I'm against the law, I really don't know whether I'd support the introduction of this law today, if we didn't already have it. I suppose I'm just glad it's not a decision I've had to make!

_________________
CSCP Latin for beginners...
Ticketo ergo sum : I scam therefore I am!


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 00:56 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
Patch wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:

Sure. But notice I said 'overall'. There are no steps at all in any of the overall figures. Those kinks in the graph above are the ONLY data that appears to show an overall effect of the seat belt law. And it's a double edged sword.


Paul please correct me if I am being thick but......

The Graph does not represent the actual number of casuaties as a data source but type of casualties as a percentage. Thus if the vehicle occupant percentage of casualties drops by 10% that percentage will be represented as an increase in another catagory, even if the actual number of casualties had reduced.


You're right about the nature of the graph - but try to find the seat belt benefits in any of the overall graphs:

http://www.safespeed.org.uk/stats/graphs.html

I can't, which is why I wrote what I wrote. What we do find is slightly reduced car occupant deaths offset by an increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 02:19 
Offline
Gold Member
Gold Member

Joined: Mon Mar 15, 2004 15:43
Posts: 2416
Paul, can the increase in pedestrian and cyclicts deaths be attributed to anything else around that time and the seatbelts being coincidental? I'm thinking about perhaps schools dropping cycling proficiency tests, Green Cross Code Man going off to the Sunshine Rest Home For Retired Road Safety Super Heroes, that sort of thing? I don't know so I'm just airing possibilities here, but it seems a strange side effect.

_________________
Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler - Einstein


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 03:15 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
Gatsobait wrote:
Paul, can the increase in pedestrian and cyclicts deaths be attributed to anything else around that time and the seatbelts being coincidental? I'm thinking about perhaps schools dropping cycling proficiency tests, Green Cross Code Man going off to the Sunshine Rest Home For Retired Road Safety Super Heroes, that sort of thing? I don't know so I'm just airing possibilities here, but it seems a strange side effect.


Anything is possible (I agree). The bigest step ever in the pedestrian percentage graph coincided with the seat belt law. It might be a coincidence. It might be some other factor. But most other factors don't take place in a single year.

There's a clear and obvious mechanism whereby pedestrian risks could increase caused by the seat belt law. If you make drivers feel safer, and they naturally preserve subjective risk values (which I believe that they do), then it's a racing certainty the actual risk values will have increased and pedestrians are likely victims.

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:20 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 13:41
Posts: 514
Location: Thames Valley
Thanks for the responses, guys.

The poll has now closed. I found the results interesting - especially the comments in the thread, but also that more than 280 people viewed the thread but did not cast a vote.

I voted yes to this poll, if only because I am convinced that the seatbelt law has saved lives and will continue to do so. Just before the law was passed on 1 Jan.,1983 I can remember all the hoopla about belts being dangerous in some circumstances. Some people felt that their civil rights were being violated.

However, I agree entirely with JT's comments - whether I would support a new law now, if it were to be mooted by Tony Blair's nanny government, remains questionable.

But the results speak for themselves, and if I recall correctly the annual RTA death toll went from ~5000 to ~3000. That is a clear result. Because of the success of the seatbelt law, we then had a new crisis - a shortage of donated organs.

Back to the people who viewed this poll but did not vote - I do the same thing myself sometimes. I'll look at a poll and decide that I don't have any strong feelings one way or another. I believe, although I have no evidence yet, that of the ~260 people who viewed the thread and didn't vote, most of them don't have any strong feelings about the seatbelt law, or interest in the seatbelt issue. I also believe that these are the people who did not wear a seatbelt until it became mandatory.

I would be interested to hear from the police officers here as to what are the reasons given by motorists who are pulled up for not wearing a seatbelt. My guess is that the vast majority would claim that they forgot, or couldn't be bothered. I doubt that many of them would put on a show of defiance, claiming that the seatbelt law is a violation of their civil rights.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 12:52 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
DieselMoment wrote:
But the results speak for themselves, and if I recall correctly the annual RTA death toll went from ~5000 to ~3000. That is a clear result. Because of the success of the seatbelt law, we then had a new crisis - a shortage of donated organs.


Nope. None of those gains can be scientifically attributed to the seat belt law. If there had been a big gain it should have shown up in the 1982/1983 death toll - seat belt wearing took a giant leap when the law came in.

As for the 'organs' claim - sheesh!

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 13:02 
Offline
Member
Member
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 13:41
Posts: 514
Location: Thames Valley
SafeSpeed wrote:
Nope. None of those gains can be scientifically attributed to the seat belt law. If there had been a big gain it should have shown up in the 1982/1983 death toll - seat belt wearing took a giant leap when the law came in.


Do you deny that there was a huge drop in RTA fatalities following the introduction of the seatbelt law - from 5000 to 3000? You speak of "gains" which implies that you concede that there was a drop in fatalities. As for 1982... the law came in on 1/1/83. Which period were to referring to by "1982/1983"?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 13:24 
Offline
Site Admin
User avatar

Joined: Sat Mar 06, 2004 06:46
Posts: 16903
Location: Safe Speed
DieselMoment wrote:
SafeSpeed wrote:
Nope. None of those gains can be scientifically attributed to the seat belt law. If there had been a big gain it should have shown up in the 1982/1983 death toll - seat belt wearing took a giant leap when the law came in.


Do you deny that there was a huge drop in RTA fatalities following the introduction of the seatbelt law - from 5000 to 3000? You speak of "gains" which implies that you concede that there was a drop in fatalities. As for 1982... the law came in on 1/1/83. Which period were to referring to by "1982/1983"?


Road deaths had been dropping nicely for a decade before the law came in. (here's why: http://www.safespeed.org.uk/smeed.html - the steady gains became greater than the growth in traffic)

1970 7499
1971 7699
1972 7763
1973 7406
1974 6883
1975 6366
1976 6570
1977 6614
1978 6831
1979 6352
1980 6010
1981 5846
1982 5934
1983 5445
1984 5599
1985 5165
1986 5382
1987 5125
1988 5052
1989 5373
1990 5217

Three year ave before seat belts: 5930
Three year ave after front seat belt law: 5403

But the trend of reductions was ALREADY running at 4-5% per annum, so we would have expected the three year after figure to be between 5040 and 5218. We didn't do as well as that...

_________________
Paul Smith
Our scrap speed cameras petition got over 28,000 sigs
The Safe Speed campaign demands a return to intelligent road safety


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2005 14:32 
Offline
Life Member
Life Member
User avatar

Joined: Sun Sep 25, 2005 21:17
Posts: 3734
Location: Dorset/Somerset border
I can't see why anyone (except perhaps people doing very frequent stops like posties) would not want to wear seatbelts. It's hardly a massive infringement of civil liberties.

Whether it should be enforced, I'm not so sure. Like most fair laws, common sense makes one obey.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 24 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.224s | 15 Queries | GZIP : Off ]