HC Deb 15 June 1955 vol 542 cc580-1
33. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he is aware of the inconvenience caused to motorists by the increasing number of flashing lights of one kind and another which are now in use on vehicles and on or near the highways; and if he will cause a full inquiry to be made into the problem with a view to taking appropriate action.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

The value of flashing lights at pedestrian crossings far outweighs any inconvenience they may cause, and as regards vehicles I am awaiting a report from the Road Research Laboratory on an investigation it is making into the use of various types of flashing indicators. There are other flashing lights near the highway over which I have no direct jurisdiction but I am asking the Road Safety Committee to look into the matter and let me know its views.

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my right hon. Friend aware that many motorists are increasingly doubtful as to the value of these flashing lights on vehicles, especially to drivers other than the driver immediately behind, and that the multiplicity of flashing lights of all kinds creates increasing hazards for motorists, especially at night and in wet weather?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I am not without sympathy for my hon. Friend's view. He may well be aware that these flashing indicators on vehicles were utilised some little time ago largely to assist the export trade in motor vehicles, as these forms of indicator are required on cars exported to certain parts of the world. I told the House towards the end of the last Parliament that I was watching this matter fairly closely; and, as I have indicated, the Road Research Laboratory is watching the matter.

Mr. H. Morrison

Whatever may have happened about the export trade—and that could be taken care of, I should have thought—is it not rather confusing that we now have at least three types of indication as to whether a vehicle is going right or left? Surely, that is confusing. Is it not the case that the Ministry really ought to make up its mind with a view to the standardisation of indicators showing whether a vehicle is going right or left; otherwise there is great confusion among other drivers?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

There is a certain amount of force in what the right hon. Gentleman has said, but I think I must await the result of the investigation of the Road Research Laboratory, which, I understand, covers the very point which the right hon. Gentleman has raised.