HC Deb 05 December 1934 vol 295 cc1571-3
21. Mr. DOBBIE

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the growing widespread demand, in the interest of public safety, for the provision of an adult attendant in addition to the driver on all heavy road-motor goods-carrying vehicles; and whether he will propose the necessary legislation on this matter at an early date?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Hore-Belisha)

During the passage of the Road Traffic Bill of this year, Amendments proposing to require that an additional man be carried on heavy goods vehicles were negatived in Committee and again on Report; and I know of no new circumstances which would justify me in asking the House to reverse that decision.


Has there been any communication between the Ministry and the trade union representatives of the road-motor drivers?


Not as far as I am aware, but I know that all the branches of the National Union of Railwaymen have passed resolutions on this matter, and I realise that it was to take traffic off the roads and convert it to the railways.


Does my hon. Friend recognise this as part of the railway propaganda to prevent road transport developing?


Will the Minister take powers to see that trailers drawn by road-motors have a man on them, because that is done in the case of every vehicle of that kind on the Continent?


asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that it is impossible for the drivers of omnibuses, oil tankers, and various species of delivery vans to give signals which are visible to traffic immediately following; and whether, in view of this fact, he will consider making it obligatory for them to carry some form of mechanical indicator?


The Departmental Committee on Traffic Signs recommended that the fitting of direction indicators should be optional and the draft Regulations on the subject, which are at present before the Road Safety Committee, have been framed accordingly.


Is my hon. Friend aware that none of these omnibuses carry indicators, and, as the drivers cannot show which way they are going to turn, will he take steps to rectify the matter?


It is not admitted that hand signals are invisible. My predecessor referred this subject to an expert committee, which confirmed that view.


If it be demonstrated to my hon. Friend that hand signalling is impossible, will he take steps?


The hon. Member ought to give notice of that question.