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Car protection

SIR — Your leader on what to do about the rise in road deaths in the developing world was wrong to suggest that “strict vehicle standards are pricey” (“Reinventing the wheel”, January 25th). Vehicle safety is affordable and more achievable than ever before. The UN has a framework of minimum safety standards, including front and side crash tests, that are not costly to implement: the frontal-impact standard can be passed simply by adding an airbag on the driver’s side.

It is now also far less expensive to provide car-body shells that will protect passengers in a crash at the standard test speed of 56kph (35mph). These improvements are achievable at unit costs of less than $100 and will become even cheaper as economies of scale are gained in a globalised industry.
Frankly, it is scandalous that any new cars are being built below these standards, but this is all too common in rapidly motorising developing countries, where the UN regulations are often not applied. Our partner car-assessment programmes in Asia and Latin America …

Link to article: www.economist.com/news/letters/21596494-car-safety-cyprus-nhs-pete-seeger-climate-change-beauty-food-trains-congress?fsrc=rss

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