Michael Patkin's

Safety belts for cars

Publication history, Reflections & comments



Surgery & ergonomics


Information design

Editorials, book reviews



The text for this long newspaper article is somewhere buried in one of 200 archive boxes. If I find it, I'll scan it and put it here.

I wrote this article in the late 1960s, dismayed and disgusted by the injuries and fatalities I saw from car accidents. Some of the more memorable injuries were extensive facial lacerations from windscreen injuries. This was when the glass broke up into wicked sharp shards instead of small pebble-like fragments.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, led by Bill (later Sir Edward) Hughes badgered politicians at the top end of Bourke Street, Melbourne, not far from the consulting rooms of many surgeons. Gordon Strinca and others worked furiously on safety belts and other measures to reduce the appalling road toll of about 3000 a year in victoria alone at the time (this figure is from memory).

Victoria, and then the rest of Australia, led the world in measures to reduce the appalling road toll.