HC Deb 02 July 1953 vol 517 c582
36. Mr. Erroll

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what technical means are now in use by the Metropolitan Police for checking the speed of vehicles limited, respectively, to speeds of 30, 20, 16, 8, 5 and 3 miles per hour; and what particular instructions are given to the mobile police with regard to the enforcement or non-enforcement of the 20 miles per hour limit in particular.

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

The normal methods adopted by the Metropolitan Police for enforcing speed limits are either for motor patrols to follow vehicles for a reasonable, and at an even, distance noting both maximum and minimum speedometer readings on speedometers whose accuracy is regularly checked, or for foot patrols to operate fixed speed controls over a measured distance, vehicles passing through a control being timed by means of stop watches, the accuracy of which is regularly checked. Occasionally, but more rarely, cases have been taken where motor patrol vehicles travelling at the legal limit have been overtaken by other vehicles. The 20 m.p.h. speed limit is enforced by mobile patrols in the same way as other speed limits.

Mr. Erroll

Can my hon. Friend explain why the police are so unsuccessful in detecting heavy vehicles proceeding at speeds in excess of 20 miles an hour?

Sir H. Lucas-Tooth

I have no reason to suppose that the police are unsuccessful in the way that my hon. Friend suggests.