HC Deb 26 July 1933 vol 280 cc2578-9
63. Captain DOWER

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if his attention has been drawn to the increase in the number of persons killed and injured by motor vehicles in London during The first six months of this year compared with the same period of 1932; and will he state what action, if any, he proposes to take with regard to this growing menace?

The SECRETARY of STATE for the HOME DEPARTMENT (Sir John Gilmour)

Yes, Sir, and everyone will, I am sure, deplore the increase in the number of accidents which is disclosed. The problem has many aspects but I, think it is clear that any reduction in the number of accidents must be dependent, in the main, on the exercise of greater care and a higher sense of responsibility on the part of all road users. So far as the police are concerned, the enforcement of the law and other work in connection with road accidents already absorbs a. large amount of their time and energies; and I can assure my hon. Friend that they will continue to do all in their power to contribute to the safety of road users.

Captain DOWER

Is my right hon. Friend aware that persons are being killed in street accidents in London at the rate of nearly four a day, and injured at the rate of 170 a day, and does he not think it would help if he increased the maximum penalty for reckless and dangerous driving?

Lieut.-Commander BOWER

Does not the right hon. Gentleman think that these accidents might be reduced by introducing penalties for jay-walking pedestrians—[HON. MEMBERS: "No!" I—who ignore the police and other traffic signals?


Is it not true that contributory negligence on the part of pedestrians is to a very great extent the cause of these accidents?




In view of the two supplementary questions, is it not possible for the right hon. Gentleman to introduce legislation refusing to pedestrians the right to walk in the street at all?


All I can say is that I trust the common sense both of motor users and pedestrians will lead to a fewer number of accidents.