HC Deb 10 April 1876 vol 228 c1482

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department, Whether "the careful observation and investigation" of the subject of the employment of covered vans, the construction of which does not admit of the driver seeing on either side of him, promised by the Right honourable Gentleman in March 1875 has as yet been made; and, whether he will direct the Metropolitan and City Police authorities, during the Recess, to report to him their opinion as to the most effective course to be taken to avoid the numerous accidents daily occurring in London from heavy waggons proceeding at a too rapid pace, and from the disregard by drivers of the right of foot passengers to make use of crossings?


, in reply, said, that he gave instructions to the police authorities to make full investigation into the relation existing between the employment of covered vans and street accidents. As the Returns for 1875 had not been finally made up, he could give no information respecting that particular year; but the Returns for 1874 showed that out of 124 persons who were killed in the streets, 28 were killed by vans, 24 by light carts, 18 by waggons and drays, 15 by omnibuses, 14 by cabs and heavy carts, and none by covered vans. Again, out of 2,568 persons maimed, 1,716 were maimed by light carts, 624 by cabs, 375 by vans, 320 by broughams and carriages, 100 by waggons, and only 22 by covered vans. He had given instructions to the police to issue placards warning the drivers of light carts especially—for the risk came in an especial degree from them—to be more cautious in the way they drove about the streets. At the same time he was bound to say that a great amount of carelessness existed, not simply amongst the drivers, but amongst the foot passengers crossing the streets.