HC Deb 06 April 1955 vol 539 cc1156-7
17. Sir C. Taylor

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is aware that many private motor vehicles have windscreens of toughened glass; and, in view of the number of cases of the surface becoming overstrained with resulting crystallisation and the danger both to the driver of the vehicle and to other road users, if he will institute further inquiries about the desirability of controlling the use of this kind of glass for windscreens.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

Yes, Sir. The Road Research Laboratory and the British Standards Institute have been investigating this problem. The solution which has emerged is that the glass should be so manufactured as to ensure that in the event of shattering there is still a sufficient degree of visibility to enable the driver to pull up safely. I understand that most new cars are fitted with glass of this type. Further experience is, however, necessary to determine whether the new standards could be further improved.

27. Sir C. Taylor

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how far his Regulations provide for the fitting of toughened glass in the windscreens of public service vehicles in London and elsewhere.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The Regulations provide that the windscreens of all motor vehicles shall be of safety glass, which is defined as glass so constructed or treated that if fractured it does not fly into fragments capable of causing severe cuts. Any kind of glass, including toughened glass, which satisfies the definition is permitted.

Sir C. Taylor

Is it not a fact that toughened glass would probably come within the provisions of the Regulations, and in view of the menace of this glass and the number of lives that may be injured in public service vehicles, will he consider making regulations giving a limited time in which this glass should be replaced by a safer product?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would not accept altogether my hon. Friend's suggestion that toughened glass is so unsuitable. If he will recall my answer to his previous Question, he will appreciate that improvements in this glass are being worked out. Opinions certainly differ about toughened glass and laminated glass.