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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Seat-Belt Designs

June 26, 2003

Re "SUV Deaths Put Design of Seat Belts in Question," June 22: Pre-tensioners, explosives, sensors, electronics ... sounds like an expensive and failure-prone new seat belt. What's wrong with the seat belts used by infants, toddlers, adolescents in cars, as well as what aerobatic and glider pilots use (and race car drivers too)?

Namely, a four- or five-point attachment system, with belts that come over each shoulder and connect to the hip belt; it requires no sensors, etc., and its purpose is to keep you in your seat at all times. Do I get a choice between inexpensive, reliable and manual versus expensive, failure-prone and automatic?

Jerry Asher

Berkeley

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