HC Deb 21 December 1915 vol 77 cc191-2
32. Mr. ALDEN

asked the Home Secretary whether he can state the number of accidents, fatal and otherwise, which have taken place in London during the last three months; whether he is able to say what proportion of these accidents has been due to the darkening of the streets at night; and whether he will consider the advisability or possibility of increasing the illumination in the streets themselves on nights when there is no fear of Zeppelin visits?


I presume that by "accidents" my hon. Friend means street accidents. I am informed by the Commissioners of Police that the number of persons killed in street accidents in the whole of the Metropolitan and City of London Police districts during the last three months was 263; the number injured, including cases of slight injury, was, approximately, 7,000. It is impossible to say what proportion of these accidents may have been due in greater or less measure to the darkening of the streets. The number of accidents occurring during daylight is, however, considerably greater than the number occurring after dark. It would not be practicable to vary the lighting of London from night to night.


In view of these serious facts, does the right hon. Gentleman propose to introduce a speed limit after sunset?


That is a matter I dealt with in answer to a question a little time ago. A speed limit after sunset is not practicable. You can only convict people of breaking a speed limit if you have a trap and two constables in the distance. In the dark they could not see one another.

Sir J. D. REES

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that there is no speed after dark?


I am not aware of anything of the kind.


Is my right hon. Friend aware that at the inquest on the death of the late Mrs. Pease the driver on his own confession stated that he was going at 15 miles an hour?