Category Archive: seat belts

Dec
02
2010

Managing transport risks: what works?

I have been invited to contribute a chapter to a book called Risk Theory Handbook to be published by Springer. Publication is scheduled for a year from now, so there is still time to make changes/corrections/improvements. Comments are welcomed. Here is the abstract. Abstract What does a transport safety regulator have in common with a …

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Nov
05
2009

Seat belts: another look at the data

I am grateful for a question posted today by Carsten Jasner in response to an earlier post of mine – Seat belts again. It has prompted another look at the data: “Very interesting! But when the number of car occupant deaths increases while the number of all road user deaths decreases – how can the …

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Oct
16
2009

Final open letter to Executive Director of PACTS

(If experiencing problems with IE7, please try Firefox, Opera or Safari) To Robert Gifford Executive Director, The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety Dear Rob Failing a response, I propose to draw this one-sided correspondence to a close. I believe that I have established: a. that the claim that seat belts have saved 60000 lives …

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Oct
06
2009

Third Open Letter to Executive Director of PACTS

To Robert Gifford Executive Director, The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety Dear Rob Thank you for sending me a paper claiming that seat belts have saved 57000 lives in the UK between 1983 and 2007.  Is this the source of the 60000 claim posted on  your website in 2008? I have discovered that the …

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Sep
30
2009

Second open letter to Executive Director of PACTS

To Robert Gifford Executive Director, The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety Dear Rob I’m sorry but I must persist. The power and endurance of the myth that PACTS and RoSPA have built around the seat belt law takes a lot of deconstructing. So long as belief in the efficacy of the law persists it …

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Sep
23
2009

Open letter to Executive Director of PACTS

To Robert Gifford Executive Director, The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety Dear Rob This claim made over a year ago is still on the PACTS website: “On the 31st January 2008, the 25th anniversary of the law change which made front seatbelt wearing compulsory was celebrated. PACTS itself was set up by Barry Sheerman …

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Sep
22
2009

Seat belts – from the archive

Now in retirement and culling my files in the process of downsizing I came upon the following letter from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents dated 7 July 1981 shortly before Parliament was to vote on a seat belt law, and encouraging Parliament to vote for the law: “TO ALL MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT …

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Sep
16
2009

Seat belts again

Yesterday when I showed Mayer Hillman the graphs in my last blog on this subject he complained that they displayed the statistics for all road user deaths and not the statistics for those affected by the seatbelt law, i.e. people in the front seats of cars. My excuse was that at the time I produced …

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Sep
08
2009

Yet more myth inflation

Last night at 8pm BBC Radio 4 presented a programme entitled “Where did it all go right?” celebrating the success of Britain’s seat belt law. It will be available on the Radio 4 Listen Again facility for another 6 days. It can be found at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mg2v6#synopsis  (or if you are too late for the listen again …

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Sep
03
2009

Seat belts – myth inflation update

The myth of the efficacy of seat belts laws has become deeply embedded. Their “success” is routinely invoked in all sorts of unrelated arguments: e.g. “Opposing wind farms is as ‘socially unacceptable’ as not wearing a seatbelt” says the climate change minister. Every so often it is given a boost by an outrageous claim that …

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