HC Deb 18 December 1935 vol 307 cc1749-51
70. Captain STRICKLAND

asked the Minister of Transport whether he is aware that certain places on the main roads in London which are notorious for the number of road accidents have been kept under observation for many months past with the object of ascertaining the principal causes of such accidents, and that certain recommendations for remedial measures have been carried out; and whether he will present a statement showing the number of accidents which occurred before and after the adoption of those measures and the causes to which they were attributed?


As a result of the intensive investigation and the special measures taken on the four roads in question, fatalities have been reduced by 53.5 per cent., serious injuries by 32.4 per cent. and slight injuries by 10.6 per cent. in the six months ended 30th September, 1935, as compared with the corresponding period of 1934. The decrease in the accidents to pedestrians is even more striking, the fatalities having decreased by 75 per cent. and serious injuries by 46.3 per cent. It is noteworthy that the accidents due to vehicles, other than pedal cycles, show a reduction of 33.3 per cent. whilst the accidents due to pedal cycles are increased by 39.5 per cent. In view of the encouraging results which followed this special investigation, and the measures taken, I have arranged for further investigations to be made of other selected roads which have a bad accident record.


While thanking the Minister for his reply, may I ask whether he will still consider the issue of a statement on the causation of accidents, in view of the importance of the utmost publicity being given to this matter in order to guide public opinion as to the real cause of accidents?


Yes, Sir. One such statement was issued, and a further one covering the investigations during the whole year will be issued as soon as possible after the end of the year.


asked the Minister of Transport whether there are any cross-roads or corners in Lanarkshire at which two or more fatal accidents have occurred during the past year; and, if so, whether steps have been taken in every case to reduce the danger at these spots.


I have received no reports on fatal accidents at cross roads and corners in Lanarkshire during the past year; two non-fatal accidents at junctions and one at a corner have been reported; in each case the highway authority has taken action to improve road and traffic conditions.


asked the Minister of Transport what has been the percentage reduction of pedestrians killed in London since the institution of a system of pedestrian crossings?


During the nine months ended 30th September, 1935, the number of pedestrians killed in the City and Metropolitan Police Districts was 21.5 per cent. less than during the corresponding months of 1934, when a complete scheme of pedestrian crossings had not been provided.


asked the Minister of Transport the number of persons killed and injured in road accidents in Great Britain during comparable periods of 1934 and 1935?


During the 39 weeks ended 8th December, 1934, 5,584 persons were killed and 184,312 persons injured on the roads in Great Britain. During the same period of 1935 the number of persons killed was 4,885, a reduction of 699 or 12.5 per cent. and the number of persons injured was 174,077, a reduction of 10,235 or 5.6 per cent.


Has the Minister any reason to believe that large numbers of the population have been frightened off the roads?


I have not observed it.


What was the increase in the number of vehicles licensed during the same time?


Between 150,000 and 250,000.


Does the Minister contemplate framing the regulations so that a certificate of efficiency shall accompany an application for licence for these motor machines, in order to avoid accidents?