HC Deb 30 April 1908 vol 187 cc1404-5
MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether his attention has been drawn to three recent cases at Kenley, Albourne (on the Brighton Road), and at St. Albans, respectively, in which a motorist, after a serious accident, in two of the cases fatal, ran away without stopping, in contravention of Section 6 of The Motor Car Act, 1903; whether he is aware that these are not isolated cases; and whether, without waiting for general legislation, he will take immediate steps to strengthen the law by imposing heavier penalties for this class of offence.


At the same time may I ask the President of the Local Government Board if his attention has been directed to the fact that early on Saturday morning, 25th April, a man named John Bryan was knocked down, killed, and abandoned on the road between Guildford and Ripley by a motor car of unknown identity; if he is aware that a considerable number of such cases have occurred recently, and that the misuse of public high roads by motorists is increasing; and whether he can definitely promise drastic legislation to suppress these evils.


My right hon. friend has asked me to reply to these Questions. I regret to say that cases of the kind mentioned in them have occurred. I would point out that under section 6 of The Motor Act, 1903, a person who is driving a motor car is bound to stop if an accident occurs to anyone, and if required he must give his name and address. Further, that if he causes the accident he may render himself liable to penalties considerably heavier than those imposed for noncompliance with the section. In the Kenley case a man was arrested and charged with manslaughter. I will, how ever, consider whether some amendment should be made in the law with regard to this point.