The British Government proposes extending the law on seat belts to include adults in the rear seats of cars and taxis by July 1991. The main points of the proposals are: (a) compliance with the regulation would be the responsibility of the passenger and not the driver: (b) rear seat belts would not need to be fitted in cars not already equipped with them (i.e. those produced before 1987); and (c) passengers holding a medical certificate would be exempted from the regulation, as would those passengers in a car in which there were too many people for them all to be wearing a seat belt. It is estimated that at least 100 lives would be saved and 1000 serious injuries prevented each year by this legislation. In France, two recent studies, one by pathologist Claude Got and one by the Gendarmerie Nationale, have found that fatalities are three times more common amongst passengers not wearing seat belts. Nine hundred back seat passengers were killed in France in 1989, a number that could be halved by the wearing of seat belts. In France the compulsory wearing of rear seat belts is one of several measures taken to reduce road death fatalities. At present children under 10 years of age are exempt, although the Transport Ministry has made recommendations for special cribs and safety chairs for this age group. Legislation concerning child protection in cars will be adopted for 1992. The speed limit in cities has also been reduced from 60 kph to 50 kph, and this is expected to reduce fatalities in cities by about a fifth. (Author/TRRL)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    British Medical Association

    BMA House, Tavistock Square
    London WC1H 9JR,   United Kingdom 
  • Authors:
    • Dorozynski, A
  • Publication Date: 1990-12-15


  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 1352
  • Serial:
    • BMJ
    • Volume: 301
    • Issue Number: 6765
    • Publisher: British Medical Association
    • ISSN: 0959-8138
    • Serial URL:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00623820
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport and Road Research Laboratory (TRRL)
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1992 12:00AM