HC Deb 16 February 1955 vol 537 cc356-7
15. Mr. D. Jones

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he is now in a position to make a further statement about the steps he proposes to take on the question of universal headlamp dipping.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No, Sir.

Mr. Jones

Early in 1952, when the attention of the right hon. Gentleman's predecessor was drawn to the matter, we were told that his predecessor was awaiting the result of an international conference in America. The right hon. Gentleman himself told me four months ago that he was considering the matter. When are we likely to get some satisfaction for the drivers of public service vehicles, who believe that to make this practice universal would lessen the danger of driving at night?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

We try to proceed jointly with other countries. I understand that the report of the International Committee is expected this spring. To a considerable extent, I share the hon. Gentleman's impatience.

Mr. Stokes

Why has the right hon. Gentleman to wait for other countries? Most of them drive by the right while we drive by the left. We are going further left—in case the right hon. Gentleman does not realise it. Will he consider saying in his instruction that all motorists must extinguish their nearside headlight and deflect the offside light? That is the only safe way.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I would not go as far as the right hon. Gentleman. As he will appreciate, it is possible to be dazzled on the left as well as on the right.

Mr. Nicholson

In the meantime, will my right hon. Friend deal with the similar problem of the unnecessary use of fog lights? The police never seem to check on the number of cars on the road that only use the left-hand sidelight, which is extremely dangerous. I never heard of the police checking on either of these two points.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I will gladly look into the suggestions made by my hon. Friend, but police enforcement is more a matter for my right hon. and gallant Friend the Home Secretary than for me.