Under embargo until 13 August 2009
His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent has awarded Volvo Cars a special international award(1) to mark the 50th Anniversary of the invention of the three-point safety belt and in acknowledgement of the company's vision to design cars that should not crash.
This announcement coincides with the anniversary of the fitment of the first three-point safety belt which was invented by Nils Bohlin, a Volvo engineer, in 1959. It is well recognized that wearing a safety belt can increase the chance of surviving a collision by 50 percent(2), meaning that the three-point safety belt is, and will remain, the car's most important safety device.
Announcing this Special International Award, The Prince, Royal Patron of The Commission for Global Road Safety(3), who founded his award scheme in 1987 said: "I congratulate Volvo on its outstanding achievement. Its leadership and commitment will make a significant contribution to our aim of saving five million more lives across the world over the next ten years." (4)
Peter Rask, Managing Director of Volvo Car UK commented; "We are delighted and honoured to receive this very special and prestigious award. Volvo's invention of the three-point safety belt 50 years ago is a perfect example of how the protection of human life is intrinsic to the company's DNA. Now, it is a legal requirement that all cars on UK roads are fitted with the safety belt, I like the thought that there is a little piece of Volvo in every car.
"When Assar Gabrielsson and Gustaf Larson created Volvo in 1927, they famously quoted 'Cars are driven by people. Therefore the guiding principle behind everything we make at Volvo is - and must remain - safety'. The company is now aiming towards a vision that by 2020, nobody should be killed or seriously injured in a Volvo and we are constantly innovating and developing safety systems and features that all contribute towards this vision."
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