§ 10. Mr. MABANE
asked the Home Secretary how many prosecutions have been instituted against drivers and/or proprietors of heavy road vehicles for exceeding the speed limit of 30 miles an hour in the Metropolitan area in the periods 1st January, 1932, to 10th March, 1932, and 11th March, 1932, to 31st May, 1932, respectively; and whether there is any evidence that the disregard of the law as to the speed limit of heavy road vehicles can be stopped other than by the prosecution of the law breakers?
The number of prosecutions of drivers of omnibuses and coaches for exceeding the speed limit of 30 miles an hour in the Metropolitan Police area from 1st January, 1932, to 10th March, 1932, was 67, and from 11th March, 1932, to 31st May, 1932, was 238. There were no prosecutions of the proprietors during these periods. Figures in respect of other classes of heavy vehicles are not available. As regards the second part of the question, I understand that the Traffic Commissioners have recently reviewed the time tables of motor coach services with a view to satisfying themselves that they can be operated without the maximum speed limit being exceeded. A breach of the conditions in the matter attached to a road service licence could be dealt with in proper cases by its suspension or revocation.
§ 11. Mr. MABANE
asked the Home Secretary what further steps be will take to ensure that the speed limit of 30 miles an hour is observed by heavy road vehicles, in view of the fact that the new instructions which, on 10th March, he announced had been issued to the Metropolitan police have had no effect in view of the fact that, whereas the total number of persons killed and injured in the Metropolitan area in road accidents in which heavy road vehicles were involved during the 70 days from 1st January, 1932, to 10th March, 1932, was 2,252, the equivalent total for the 81 days from 11th March to 31st May, 1932, was 2,729, an average increase of over 11 persons killed and injured in a week?
Active steps have been and are being taken by the Metropolitan Police to secure observance of the speed limit, and I do not accept the hon. Member's suggestion that they have been ineffective. In comparing the casualties for the two, periods mentioned he appears to assume that they were wholly attributable to vehicles which were exceeding the speed limit, and I am unable to confirm this assumption. It must also be borne in mind that many other factors have to be taken into account; such as weather conditions and the number of vehicles on the road which is normally much greater in the second quarter of the year than the first. I may add that the figure which he quotes for the second period should be 2,719 and not 2,729.