HC Deb 30 April 1958 vol 587 c375
45. Mr. Page

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation to what he attributes the 1957 increase of 10.2 per cent. in road accidents at night, having regard to the fact that road accidents during the day decreased by 0.9 per cent.; and what are his proposals for combating that trend in the rate of night accidents.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation (Mr. G. R. H. Nugent)

There have been more road accidents at night because the rate of traffic increase has been rather faster by night than by day. In addition, the figures for 1957 are higher because of a change in the definition of hours of darkness during summer time.

We are tackling the problem by building better roads, by attention to lighting in the vehicle testing scheme, by introducing better standards for rear lights and direction indicators, and by road safety propaganda generally.

Mr. Page

Do not these figures show very eloquently the drive that is necessary in the improvement and uniformity of street lighting? Can my hon. Friend give us hope of any progress in that respect?

Mr. Nugent

Yes, Sir. I did not like to lengthen the list of action that we are taking, but, in fact, I have a conference of the London authorities tomorrow to discuss that very question.

Mr. Isaacs

Has the Minister taken note of the figures in the Report issued by his Ministry for 1956, which show that accidents between the hours of 10 and 12 at night are at least 50 per cent. higher than the highest figures in the middle of the day? Does not the jump in the number of accidents from between 9 and 10 p.m. to the high figures between 10 and 12 p.m. show that the closing of the public houses has something to do with it?

Mr. Nugent

I think that it probably has.

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