Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 20, 1974, Page 3

Cedar Rapids Gazette

September 20, 1974

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Issue date: Friday, September 20, 1974

Pages available: 56

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Publication name: Cedar Rapids Gazette

Location: Cedar Rapids, Iowa

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 20, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa The Cedar Rapids Gazelle: Krl.. Sept. 20. 1971 Your United Way At Work Ingenuity Used To Disconnect Seat-Belt Unit Family life has changed for Charles and Stephanie Ka- cena for the better. Charles worked at Link-Belt Speeder on the night shift. He could spend little time with Kevin and Scott, his and Stephanie's 9-and 11-year-old sons. Changing to the day shift and becoming a part of the Marion YMCA has brought the family together in lots of recreational and social activities. Stephanie plays on a women's volleyball team, attends women's fitness classes three days a week, has served on the program committee, helped organize the open house, and is now teaching the aquatics program. The boys are taking swimming lessons, and are involved in wrestling, basketball, gymnastics and track. Charles is active in men's fitness classes, and volunteers in taking boys and girls on outings, assisting the two program directors, and helping with needed painting in the building. The Kacenas' family membership brings them together on family nights at the Y for swimming and volleyball. They are no longer an "alone" family they are building good family relationships. Thanks to you and your fair share pledge to United Way this family plays together and will stay together. Greeks Give Hunting Dogs Bus Fare Break ATHENS (UPI) Retriever dogs can travel at half fare on Greek buses for the duration of the hunting season, the ministry of transportation said. "The dogs must have a valid health certificate and wear the announcement said. ON THIS DATE in 1519, the Portuguese navigator, Fer- dinand Magellan, set out from Spain with five ships on his global voyage to find a western passage to the fndies. By Edward S. Lcchlzin UP) Aulo Writer DETROIT American ingenuity being what It Is, about 4 million mo- torists who puid extra for that buckle-up-or-don't-drive safety belt have found ways to stop it from working. That means million spent tor the safety device has, in the words of one industry analyst, "Gone right down the tube." Congress is on the verge of changing the law that required the safety belt ignition in- terlock system on the 1974 Last of a series model cars. It also may eliminate the requirement for mandatory air bags on all 1977 models. Safety experts say higher casualty figures may be one of the first consequences of a change in the law. Lives A house commerce commit- tee staff memo estimates that wide use of the belt in 1974 models means lives saved each year. In Victoria, Australia, a seat belt law cut traffic fatalities the first year by 20 percent the first decline in traffic fatalities in 38 years and greatly reduced the severity of accident in- juries. The National Highway Traf- fic Safety Administration recently completed a study that claims lives could be saved in the next nine years by a combination air bag-seat belt system; and that vehicle injuries could be reduced by more than 5.4 million. Fewer than people have been willing to pay the General Motors charges for optional air bags on its cars. Without a law requiring the devices, the price will rise and use will drop. GM says the air bag is a option on the 1975 models. If congress is supposed to mirror public opinion, discon- necting the safety devices is what many Americans ap- parently want. Surveys by the automakers and others in- dicate the interlock system increased belt use from 23 percent on 1972 model cars to about 60 percent on the 74s. Already Disconnected Close to half a billion dollars for safety has been added to the cost of the 74s. But owners of about 4 million of the 9.6 million 1974 model cars have already disconnected buzzers, lights and intricate electronic circuitry that make the system work. After Goldie Alper picked up her 1974 Plymouth Gold Duster this spring, her first stop was a neighborhood service station in suburban Cleveland, Ohio. She paid to have the plug pulled on the belt system. Harry Bendena of Detroit simply reached under the front seat of his 1974 Ford Torino and disconnected a module that controls the electronic circuit that made him sit down and buckle up before he could start the car. "Now if I want to use belts I Bendena says. "But nobody tells me I have to." House Agreed The house of representatives apparently agreed and last August passed 337 to 49 a measure that may do away with the mandatory interlock system. It is now in a senate- house conference committee. Seat belts themselves would continue to be mandatory under the anti-intcrlock amendment of Rep. Wyman who called it a "ci- tizens' rights amendment." Automakers never really wanted the interlock system, ordered by the National High- way Traffic Safety Adminis- tration. GM fought installation of the untried interlock system, claiming that as many as persons might, at least once In the first year, be una- ble to start their cars. GM now admits its estimate was hi.tjh. There have been fewer than 1 percent "no starts." Challenged "Experts" While congressmen debate the need for mandatory seat belts, a safety researcher at the University of Michigan has challenged "self-styled ex- perts" who question their value. Donald Huelke, professor of anatomy at the U-M medical school and head of a field ac- cident investigation learn at the university's Highway Safety Research Institute, says 20 to 30 percent of occupant deaths could be prevented if available car belt systems lire worn. The U-M safety researcher says he's appalled by the ar- guments used by foes of sent belts. "For example, these self- styled experts are trying to make the exception look like the rule, as when a motorist is ejected from a crushed car but miraculously remains unin- Huelke says. "If this driver had worn a ibelt, he'd be dead, they say. Or they cite a case in which a belted occr.fant fails to survive a crash of such magnitude that survival would be he says. If seat belts and interlock systems stir 11 debute, the air bag system usually starts an argument. GM, a prime researcher on the air bag and the only auto company offering them to the public, wants it to remain op- tional rather than mandatory in 1977. Safety experts say 90 percent use of safety belts would make the air bag unnecessary. The American Automobile Assn. says one of its studies shows that benefits of air bags have been grossly overstated. Halher than u switch to air bags, the AAA urged, there should be greater use of safety bolts because "there still is no evidence to show that air bags approach the known life saving capabilities of properly worn belt-harness systems." To gel greater use of safety belts would require new laws. Given the mood of congress to do away with the ignition in- terlock system, it Is doubtful that mandatory seat belt laws Introduced in 30 states have much chance of passage. HEATHCUFF si? ii I The Highest bank savings rates by law.1 Passbook savings 5% with No Mlniumum MATURITY RATE 3-month 1 -year 6% 4-year 7'A% FDIC regulations require substantial penalty for withdrawl prior to maturity. MIN. AMOUNT W; fc 1 5 v g 5 f 8 X H rNss- It fc Member F.D.I.C. GUARANTY BANK a TRUST CO. 3rd St. 3rd Ave. Downtown 1819 42nd St. NE 191 Jacolyn Dr. NW Phone 362-2115 ARMSTRONG-COUGOLEUH-LURAN 540 Patterns Choice 95 _ Sq. 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