HC Deb 06 February 1957 vol 564 cc435-6
39. Mr. J. Hynd

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation whether he will suspend the regulations preventing persons who are not holders of driving licences from riding pillion on motor-scooters for so long as such persons are prevented from taking a driving test.

Mr. Watkinson

The limitation to which the hon. Member refers was imposed in the interests of road safety; I do not think that the present situation affords sufficient justification for suspending it.

Mr. Hynd

Is not the Minister aware that a number of people have purchased these motor scooters in order to save petrol; that they use them in place of cars and are anxious to be able to use them to the maximum by taking pillion passengers—sometimes their wives—to work with them? Is he aware that they are prevented by the regulations from doing this? For the purpose of the present emergency, will he not look again at this position?

Mr. Watkinson

I will look at it again, but it is a very difficult balance between the need for road safety and doing what the hon. Member wants me to do.

Mr. Fernyhough

Can the Minister say why the learner-driver on a scooter should be more dangerous than the learner-driver in a car? At least the learner-driver on a motor scooter is carrying only one passenger whilst a driver in a car may be carrying four, five or six passengers?

Mr. Watkinson

Yes, but the hon. Gentleman knows that the accidents to those riding motor cycles and motor scooters are much worse, pro rata, than to those driving cars.