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Lord McCluskey asked Her Majesty's Government:

The Earl of Lindsay: My right honourable friend made the comment in the context of his announcement on 12 October 1995 about law and order in Scotland, which included his plans for changes to the early release provisions for prisoners that are contained in the Prisoners and Criminal Proceedings (Scotland) Act 1993.

The legislation was introduced by the Government following its consideration of the report on parole by the review committee chaired by the Honourable Lord Kincraig.

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Seat Belt Wearing

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is their estimate of the total number of lives saved and injuries reduced as a result of the compulsory wearing of seat belts in (a) the front seat and (b) the rear.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Transport (Viscount Goschen): An estimated 4,700 lives and 89,000 serious injuries have been saved as a result of compulsory wearing in front seats. An estimated 590 lives and 7,600 serious injuries have been saved since July 1991 through wearing of seat belts in the rear of cars.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    What is the current average front seat belt wearing rate in each country in the European Union.

Viscount Goschen: This information is not available at present, but a survey is currently being carried out by the European Transport Safety Council.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will comment on a recent survey by the Automobile Association which suggests that one in three motorists fails to wear a seat belt, and what steps they have taken, or plan to take to ensure that the law is fully enforced.

Viscount Goschen: I understand that the survey by the Automobile Association consisted of a spotcheck of 100 cars at a single location. Its findings are not reflected in other similar surveys. We shall continue to publicise and enforce the legislation on seat belt wearing. In 1994 in England and Wales, 115,000 fixed penalty notices were issued by the police and there were 6,600 convictions in court for seat belt offences. The Government are planning a publicity campaign for next spring on the importance of wearing seat belts.

Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the number of (a) males (b) females aged (i) under 16, (ii) 16–18, (iii) 19–20 (iv) 21 and over who were (aa) charged and (bb) convicted of failure to wear a seat belt in (aaa) the front seat and (bbb) the rear seat in each month in 1992, 1993, 1994 and to date in 1995.

Viscount Goschen: This information is not available in exactly the format required, but the following table shows prosecutions and convictions for not wearing a seat belt by year, gender and whether under or over the age of 21 in England and Wales in the years 1992, 1993 and 1994.

Prosecutions and convictions for driving or riding in a motor vehicle not wearing a seat belt England and Wales Number of offences

Year Male Female Total
Under 21 21 and over Total Under 21 21 and over Total Under 21 21 and over Total
1992
Prosecutions 1,231 9,085 10,316 77 856 933 1,308 9,941 11,249
Convictions 929 6,824 7,753 51 693 744 980 7,517 8,497
1993
Prosecutions 1,214 7,582 8,796 66 817 883 1,280 8,399 9,679
Convictions 835 5,570 6,405 50 620 670 885 6,190 7,075
1994
Prosecutions 1,039 6,920 7,959 61 686 747 1,100 7,606 8,700
Convictions 761 5,216 5,977 50 561 611 811 5,777 6,588

In addition the following number of fixed penalty notices and written warnings were given for these offences:


Fixed penalty notices Written warnings
1992 102,322 3,214
1993 106,153 4,839
1993 114,712 6,945

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Lord Braine of Wheatley asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they will publish in the Official Report a table showing the (a) front and (b) rear seat belt wearing rates in each month since 1983.

Viscount Goschen: The Department of Transport established a regular survey of seat belt wearing by drivers and front seat passengers of cars and vans in 1982 (rear seat passengers were not included). The survey used over 50 sites, on all types of road and spread throughout Great Britain. Initially, monthly observations were made, but this became twice yearly from 1986, as the level of seat belt wearing had been maintained for two years. The following results are reproduced from TRRL Research Report RR 289.

Table 1: Wearing rates for front seat occupants of cars and vans, selected months, 1982–88

Month Driver Front passenger Month Driver Front passenger
Feb 1982 37 39 Apr 1984 95 96
May 1982 37 39 Oct 1984 94 96
Aug 1982 38 42 Apr 1985 93 94
Nov 1982 38 40 Oct 1985 93 94
Dec 1982 40 43 Apr 1986 94 94
Jan 1983 53 54 Oct 1986 94 94
Feb 1983 93 93 Apr 1987 94 95
Mar 1983 94 95 Oct 1987 94 94
Apr 1983 95 94 Apr 1988 94 94
Oct 1983 95 94 Oct 1988 93 94

In 1988, the Transport Research Laboratory set up its current, seat belt survey, which looks at wearing rates among all car occupants (including rear seat passengers). Extra information such as the age, sex and type of restraint being worn for each car occupant, along

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with the registration letter of the car is also collected. The results of this survey, which provides the average wearing rates for all ages of car occupant are produced yearly in leaflet form and are shown in Table 2. October 1995 results are currently in preparation.

Table 2: Wearing rates for car occupants by seating position, 1988–95

Month Driver Front seat passenger Rear seat passenger
0–13 14+ 0–4 5–13 14+
Oct 1988 93 91 93 68 29 7
Apr 1989 93 92 92 73 34 8
Oct 1989 92 95 94 76 60 11
Apr 1990 92 96 92 76 57 12
Oct 1990 93 96 93 77 54 10
Apr 1991 93 95 89 81 55 17
Oct 1991 93 94 93 87 68 41
Apr 1992 92 94 92 84 66 45
Oct 1992 93 93 94 85 66 44
Apr 1993 92 93 90 88 68 49
Apr 1994 93 97 93 82 81 48
Oct 1994 92 95 93 87 72 48
Apr 1995 91 93 92 85 72 48

* Wearing rates for drivers for Oct 1988 to Apr 1991 are calculated by combining averages for three age groups, 17–29, 30–59, 60+.


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Dover, Ipswich and Tyne: Privatisation

Lord Brougham and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:

    Whether they have reached a decision on the privatisation of the ports of Dover, Ipswich and Tyne.

Viscount Goschen: Following consultation with the trust port authorities concerned, my right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Transport has decided

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to use his powers under the Ports Act 1991 to require the Port Authorities of Ipswich and Tyne to submit schemes for privatisation. As regards Dover, we accept the Harbour Board's advice that it would be better for privatisation to be deferred for two years until the effect of the Channel Tunnel on the port's business is clearer. The board has assured my right honourable friend that it is their aim to submit a scheme for privatisation by September 1997.



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