HC Deb 01 July 1908 vol 191 cc755-6
MR. BOWERMAN (Deptford)

I beg to ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he will consider the advisability of making a regulation that all mechanically-driven vehicles, such as motors, motor-omnibuses, and electric trams, shall carry speedometers, in view of the fact that drivers of such vehicles, in the absence of any such apparatus, can only guess the speed at which they are travelling, many drivers having been, summoned and punished, and in some cases had their licences withdrawn, for exceeding speed limits.


I have considered this question and consulted the Commissioner of Metropolitan Police, but have not, so far, thought it desirable to impose the use of speedometers as the condition of the grant of a public carriage licence. The hon. Member may recollect that the Royal Commission on Motor Cars stated, on page 14 of their Report, that they could not recommend making the use of these appliances compulsory by law. Drivers of motor omnibuses, at any rate, cannot exceed the speed limit of twelve miles per hour fixed for their vehicles without knowing it, since to do so they must consciously make an excessive use of the accelerator. My jurisdiction in this matter extends only to public carriages in London. Other motor vehicles would be dealt with by Regulations under the Motor-Car Act.


Is not twelve miles an hour an excessive speed in the streets of London?


I do not know that it is an excessive speed, but it is often exceeded.

MR. CATHCART WASON (Orkney and Shetland)

Has the right hon. Gentleman received any applications from local authorities to vary the speed limit?


That hardly arises out of the Question.