HC Deb 07 April 1952 vol 498 cc2271-2
29. Sir Robert Grimston

asked the Minister of Transport if, in order to assist him in formulating proposals to improve road safety, he has consulted the insurance companies to see if they can provide him with any statistics compiled in their claims departments as to the various causes of road accidents.

The Minister of Transport (Mr. John Maclay)

Detailed statistics of road accidents involving death or personal injury are maintained in my Department. Insurance interests are consulted if it seems likely that they can assist in the study of the causes and prevention of accidents.

35. Mr. Niall Macpherson

asked the Minister of Transport how many road accidents have taken place at Kirkpatrick Fleming, Dumfries-shire, during the hours of darkness in the past 24 months.

Mr. Maclay

Nine, Sir, including two involving personal injury.

Mr. Macpherson

Does not the Minister consider this a high number for a tiny village, and as this matter gives rise to a wide question of principle, will he not go into it very carefully?

Mr. Maclay

I shall be glad to look at any further information which the hon. Member may care to give me.

43. Mr. Gerald Nabarro

asked the Minister of Transport how many road accidents occurred by day and how many by night during the year 1951; and how far the ratio of accidents by day to accidents by night changed substantially during 1951, compared with earlier years.

Mr. Maclay

In 1951, 56,600 casualties resulted from road accidents in hours of darkness and 159,893 from accidents in other hours. The ratio of 1 to 2.8 for 1951 compares with 1 to 3 for 1950 and 1 to 3.2 for 1949. In 1936–37 the ratio was 1 to 2.8.

Mr. Nabarro

In view of the steady increase in the ratio of accidents by night attributable mainly to two causes—the lack of luridity of rear lights and the fact that a night driving test for people applying for a driving licence is not required—will the hon. Gentleman take administrative action to tackle these two problems?

Mr. Maclay

The hon. Gentleman will remember that I answered both these questions before, but I would repeat that the question of inadequate rear lights is being very carefully studied at the moment.

Mr. Nabarro

How soon can we expect a statement? This toll of night accidents is steadily getting worse, and it only requires administrative action of a very simple character to deal with it.

Mr. Maclay

Just as quickly as I get reliable advice as to the best method of dealing with this problem.

Mr. Julian Snow

Is it not a fact that the hon. Gentleman has a Departmental committee considering headlights as a factor in these accidents, and, if so, when will they report?

Mr. Maclay

That is a different Question, and I should like notice of it.

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