Letter: Coached towards seat-belt safety

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The Independent Online
Sir: The Bus and Coach Council says in its letter (21 February) that the Department of Transport needs to commission research on seat-belt systems.

The Council is aware that we are already reviewing the full technical and cost implications of seat-belts in coaches. The report is expected in the next few weeks. It is also aware that the European Commission intends to put forward proposals to amend the seat-belt, anchorages and seat strength directives.

Together with the bus and coach construction directive that is currently under discussion in Brussels, these proposals should produce an integrated package of measures relating to coach safety. Changes to construction and use regulations would need to be ratified by the EU. In the meantime, there is nothing to prevent coach manufacturers installing seat-belts on a voluntary basis, should their clients wish it.

Yours faithfully,

ROBERT KEY

Minister for Roads and

Transport

Department of Transport

London, SW1

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