Letters: Bags of trouble

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Bags of trouble

Sir: As one of the engineers involved in the development of the modern seatbelt I was half pleased to see that seat belt usage in the back of cars is again up, according to new government figures.

But only half pleased - because I believe that the savings in lives from wearing seat belts is being offset by the increase in needless deaths and injuries incurred by the proliferation of airbags. We know that there have been at least 141 deaths directly caused by airbags - yet their use remains completely unregulated and there are no UK or European air bag safety standards.

One test, where all the air bags in a car were set off together, actually buckled the metal roof of the car! They are not the gentle devices they sound: they use explosives to inflate the bag - and if you are close to the bag as it "goes off" it explodes straight into you!

Seat belts have proven their safety; why take a chance with airbags? I have had them disconnected.