HC Deb 23 March 1955 vol 538 cc2070-1
43. Mr. Page

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation in what respects the calculation of deaths resulting from road accidents in 1954, for the purpose of the official statistics, differs from the calculation in previous years; and whether he will give an estimate of the number of such deaths in 1954 if the calculation had been upon a basis similar to that for previous years.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In accordance with a recommendation of the Economic Commission for Europe, which has been accepted by other countries, our 1954 figures only record as deaths, as opposed to serious injuries, deaths taking place within 30 days of the accident. Previously there was no precise limit, though in practice people dying more than two months after the accident were excluded. It is impossible to state with precision what effect this change in practice, which was announced in our Annual Summary of Road Accidents, a copy of which is in the Library of this House, had on the deaths figure in the 1954 figures. It might be of the order of 2 per cent.

Mr. Page

Does this mean, rather disappointingly, that the number of road deaths in 1954 was not reduced as compared with that in 1953 and that, on the other hand, the number of serious injuries was inflated as compared with the 1953 calculations?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I think that is a correct deduction to draw from my answer.