HC Deb 14 November 1934 vol 293 cc1952-4
37. Mr. LUNN

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will publish separately each week the number of accidents, fatal and non-fatal, on the controlled and uncontrolled crossings for pedestrians in the country, giving separate figures for the Metropolitan area?

The MINISTER of TRANSPORT (Mr. Hore-Belisha)

It is my policy to give as much information by statistics and otherwise to the public as I feel can reasonably help to bring home to all classes of road users the extent and nature of road casualties. While I will bear the hon. Member's actual suggestion in mind he will appreciate that the additional crossings which are being laid down each week would at present invalidate any comparison.


Have we not arrived at a time when we should know what is the number of pedestrians being killed and maimed by madmen?


Yes, Sir, so much is that the case that I think the hon. Gentleman will recall that I have published regularly the statistics of these accidents.


Is the hon. Gentleman aware that many of the white stripes at the crossings have been washed out by the rain, and will he give instructions for periodical re-painting?


I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for putting that question. It is true that in the Westminster district I have myself noticed that these lines are being obliterated, and I hope the Westminster City Council will expedite the process of putting in steel studs.

40. Mr. TINKER

asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the increasing number of accidents caused through vehicles running into stationary vehicles such as lorries and cars of heavy types; and whether he will have inquiries made to see if better lighting can be placed at the tail end of such stationary vehicles and near to the right-hand side to give the passing vehicle better warning?


The Road Transport Lighting Act, 1927, requires every motor vehicle to show during the hours of darkness a red light to the rear which is visible from a reasonable distance and the Regulations made under this Act provide that this red light shall not be to the left of the centre line of the vehicle. An offence is committed if these requirements are not complied with. I will certainly consider revising these Regulations and I will bear in mind the representations of the hon. Member.


Is the Minister aware of the large number of manufacturers who are now producing illuminated rear lights, and as these are in general use on the Continent, will he not consider them as an effective means of dealing with the question?


If my hon. Friend changes the regulations will he insist on a uniform height for rear lights? One of the worst offenders is the light type of vehicles used by the Post Office.


Is the Minister aware that a great number of accidents occur owing to projections of timber from the rear of motor lorries, the load extending far from the back?

43. Brigadier-General NATION

asked the Minister of Transport what is the total number of fatal accidents connected with heavy motor vehicles for the first nine months of the present year; and whether, in order to reduce these accidents, he will amend the present law to provide that an additional man, over the age of 20 years, besides the driver should be on each vehicle to act as a look-out?


The weekly returns of road accidents do not specify the class of vehicle involved in the accident, and I am therefore not in a position to give my hon. and gallant Friend the figure for which he asks. I would remind him that, 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 both in Committee and again on Report.


Will the Minister bear in mind that the goods that are transported often make it impossible for the driver to see reflectors, or an additional man to see behind him? The question of cargo is a most important thing in this matter.


My hon. Friend is right.