LETTER:Seatbelts make a useful Euromyth

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The Independent Online
From Mr Mark Rison

Sir: A small paragraph on yesterday's front page of the Independent states that regulations about seatbelts in coaches and buses "will only apply to vehicles carrying children as otherwise they would conflict with EU rules which do not specify the need for belts''.

Let me simply quote from http://www.cec.lu/en/comm/dg10/em/m10.html:

Statement: Britain is powerless to introduce and enforce legislation on the compulsory fitting of seatbelts on coaches and buses in the UK without the backing of the European Commission and the agreement of all other EC countries.

Response: No. The Commission has long backed the introduction of laws making this compulsory throughout the EC. Nevertheless, it is true that there has been little movement on this for some years now as the majority of EC countries have opposed it, chiefly on the grounds of the costs involved. The UK government, therefore, would not be able to insist on coaches registered in other EC member states having to have seatbelts. However, the UK government is free to enforce the introduction of seat belts on all coaches and buses registered in the UK if it wants to do so.

I recommend reading the Europa WWW server on http:/ /www.cec.lu/ - if only for its section on "Euromyths'', which your correspondents would be wise to consult before they parrot the obfuscatory anti-EU government line.

Yours faithfully,



17 March