HC Deb 30 July 1956 vol 557 cc1092-3

Lords Amendment: In page 28, line 36, at end insert new Clause H: For the purposes of the Road Transport Lighting Acts, 1927 to 1953, the expression 'the hours of darkness' shall mean the time between half-an-hour after sunset and half-an-hour before sunrise as well during the period of summer time as during the remainder of the year.

Mr. Molson

I beg to move, That this House doth agree with the Lords in the said Amendment.

This is a matter of some substance, but I can explain it very briefly. When we were considering introducing the Bill a number of representations were made to us that, as a result of the introduction of Summer Time, in the middle of the summer it is legal for motor vehicles to travel on the roads without lights at a time when it is quite dark and most dangerous for them to do so.

There were two ways of dealing with this matter, one an extremely scientific way, which would have resulted in there being a number of different lighting up areas all over the country. After considering the matter carefully we came to the conclusion that a rough and ready system such as this, taking half an hour after sunset and half an hour before sunrise, would be more acceptable to the country. The Amendment will result in a rather anomalous and absurd situation, in that there will be a legal obligation in the North of Scotland for lights to be turned on in broad daylight. We thought it better to have something anomalous of that kind, provided that it was plain and simple, and something that everybody could understand, instead of a more scientific system based upon the nautical almanac.