§ SIR HOWART VINCENT (Sheffield, Central)
To ask the Secretary of State for the Homo Department if the Returns of the Public Carriage Department of the Metropolitan Police afford any information as to the number of accidents last year in hansom cabs; and if, by legislation or otherwise, some improvement can be brought about in the arrangement of the window so as to secure greater safety to the passenger, and bring it, as in Manchester, under the latter's control instead of that of the driver.
(Answered by Mr. Secretary Ritchie.) The number of accidents in hansom cabs brought to the notice of the police in the course of last year (1901) was ninety-four. Of this number thirty-nine were caused by collisions; forty-three from the horse falling; and twelve from various causes, such as the breaking of harness, a wheel breaking, etc. In no case reported to the police does it appear that injury was caused by the arrangement of 947 the window; and though the present vehicle is doubtless not perfect, it would hardly appear that any legislation is demanded in the direction suggested in the Question. If any effective substitute for the present window is suggested, the Commissioner of Police would have it brought to the notice of proprietors, as is invariably clone when attention is drawn to desirable improvements. The adoption of these improvements, however, is a matter for the makers and the owners of these convenient and popular vehicles, who would promptly respond to any public demand for alteration. Every care is taken to see that the licensed hansom cabs are fit for use.