HC Deb 01 July 1936 vol 314 cc395-6
43. Mr. LEWIS

asked the Minister of Transport whether, having regard to the number of accidents resulting in death or injury to pedestrians in our large towns, he will consider the advisability of adopting the American system of compulsory crossings with appropriate penalties for those who neglect to use them?


I considered this question from the point of view of its practicability, but the difficulties in the way of drafting an adequate legal requirement to meet the situation generally cannot be ignored. I have asked highway authorities in London to provide guard rails which on appropriate roads would connect the spaces between the crossings in such a way as to impose a physical barrier. The House will be interested to note that despite the absence of compulsion in the use of the crossings, there has been since their establishment a great reduction in pedestrian casualties, the decline this year up to 20th June being 2½ per cent. in the number of pedestrians injured and nearly 9 per cent. in the number of pedestrians killed. I would appeal to all classes of road users invariably to respect the purpose of the crossings.


Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that if he had power to compel pedestrians to use these crossings the number of accidents would be materially reduced?


I have said that whatever one's intentions may be, there are obvious difficulties in framing regulations in effective legal form.

Sir G. FOX

Does the right hon. Gentleman not think that his Department should be able to frame such regulations?


I can only say that there are obvious difficulties.

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