§ 63. Mr. HALES
asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been called to the death of Mrs. Beatrice Tait, who was trapped in a blazing car on the Great North Road, near Newcastle-on-Tyne, on the 26th instance; whether he is aware that four people were seriously burned in a motor car which overturned and caught fire on the Kingsbury Road, near Castle Bromwich, on the same date; and whether, having regard to the numerous cases of burning car fatalities on the road, he will make compulsory the fitting of fire extinguishers on private cars which are now compulsory on all public service vehicles?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
Inquiries are being made regarding the types of cars involved in these two accidents, and whether there were any special features (for example, the position of the petrol tank) which might render them especially liable to catch fire. I am naturally ready to take any steps to circumscribe proved dangers, but I do not desire to make regulations which may prove burdensome to motorists without adequate cause being shown. The report on fatal road accidents for 1933, issued by my Department, shows that only in seven cases were fatal accidents attributed to explosion or fire on motor vehicles.
§ Mr. HALES
Is the hon. Member aware that on this particular occasion the father of this unfortunate lady, a man nearly 70 years of age, was only saved from sharing her fate by the providential arrival of another car fitted with a fire extinguisher, with which they were able to keep the flames down and enable the two unconscious persons to be dragged out of the blazing car. Is it not time that something was done in the interests of humanity?
§ Mr. HORE-BELISHA
I have told my hon. Friend that I am making inquiries into the case, and we shall see whether they confirm what the hon. Member has said.