§ MR. COGHILL (Newcastle-under-Lyme)
asked the Secretary of State for 174 the Home Department, Whether, in view of the number of accidents and deaths which occur annually in the streets of London, owing in some cases to the excessive pace at which vehicles of all sorts are driven, and to the absence of sufficient control over the traffic in the more crowded thoroughfares, he will take steps to secure the safety of pedestrians in using the streets of the Metropolis; whether the majority of the accidents happen at crossings, and whether the number of "refuges" could be increased; and, whether, when a fatal accident has occurred, any adequate means exist to make the driver amenable when he has been the cause of it?
§ THE SECRETARY OF STATE (Mr. MATTHEWS) (Birmingham, E.)
As the hon. Member is probably aware, constables have been for some years stationed at most of the principal crossings in the Metropolis for the purpose of controlling the traffic and assisting pedestrians. It has not been brought to my notice that this duty has been insufficiently performed; on the contrary, I am informed by the Commissioners of Police that few accidents happen at crossings. The question of providing refuges lies with the Vestries, to whom any complaint as to inadequate accommodation in this respect should be addressed. I am informed that the practice now is that when any driver has been the cause of a fatal accident, he is brought before a magistrate, and then held to bail or bound over on his recognizances pending the result of a Coroner's inquest. I have received no complaint that the present means are inadequate for making careless drivers amenable.