Safety First

The new automobile seat-belt interlock system made mandatory on all 1974 model cars is a marked success in reducing not only injuries but automobile accidents. Injuries are reduced by approximately 23.2 per cent through the wearing of seat belts, and as approximately 61.4 per cent of drivers will wear them only 26 per cent of the time without coercion, the net result is a 10.54 per cent reduction in injuries. In addition, surveys show that 3.7 per cent of 1974 car owners are entirely unable to start their cars with the new system, while the remaining 96.3 per cent fail to start them on an average of 5.7 per cent of their attempts. This results in 9.18 per cent fewer trips being taken at all (except for those owners of 1974 cars who also own older model cars and take them when unsuccessful in starting their 1974 models).Figures supplied by Department of Urban Management and Planning (DUMP). The total reduction (injuries and accidents combined) approaches 20 per cent, a saving that eminently justifies whatever slight unpleasantness may be involved in the so-called “coercive” aspects of the mandatory system.

Success in auto safety has now led government planners to turn their attention to the most dangerous of all situations, the human home. As is well known, the majority of all accidents occur in the home, and the vast majority of all sickness either originates there or becomes localized there.

Beginning in 1975, all new homes will be required to have a safety interlock system on doors, permitting no one to leave the house during rain, or when the humidity rises above 95 per cent, without rubbers securely fastened to his feet. From 1976 onward, a more sophisticated interlock will permit no one to leave the house ...

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