§ 39. Mr. MATHERS
asked the Minister of Transport the number of fatal and non-fatal accidents that have occurred during each of the last five years through railway carriage doors becoming unfastened while trains were in motion; whether representations have been made to him regarding the need for greater safeguards in this connection; and whether he can afford greater security to passengers by requiring additional safety devices to be used?
§ Mr. HERBERT MORRISON
The total number of accidents to persons falling out of railway carriages during the running of trains during the last five years amounts to between 19 and 35 persons killed and between 42 and 51 persons injured in each year. The liability of accident from this cause is about one in every 20,000,000 passenger journeys. It is not possible to say what proportion of these accidents might have been prevented by the use of a different type of door fastening. The matter, which is continually under review, is referred to on page 19 of the report on the accidents that occurred on the railways of Great Britain during 1928, and in all the circumstances, and having regard to the fact that any arrangements involving increased difficulty in opening doors might create danger in certain circumstances, I have not felt justified in pressing companies in the matter.
§ Mr. MATHERS
During this period of five years does the number of these occurrences show an upward or a downward tendency?
§ Mr. MORRISON
There have been increases, but, on the other hand, in one or two years there were decreases, so that I do not think any particular tendency is revealed by the figures.
§ Mr. SKELTON
Would it not be a good thing to have everyone medically examined before entering a train to see whether they are likely to fall out?