HC Deb 29 July 1959 vol 610 c502
17. Mr. P. Noel-Baker

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many right hon. and hon. Members of the House of Commons have died, and how many have been seriously injured, as the result of road accidents since 1945.

Mr. Nugent

According to my information, I regret to say that nine right hon. and hon. Members of the House of Commons have been killed in road accidents since 1945. I have no detailed information about the number of right hon. and hon. Members seriously injured in the same period.

Mr. Noel-Baker

Is the Joint Parliamentary Secretary aware that four of the deaths have occurred in the present Session and that there have been a great number of really serious injuries, both to Ministers and to other hon. Members on both sides of the House? Do not these facts show that road accidents are becoming a horrifying social evil, constantly increasing in gravity, and ought we not now to consider some new and imaginative measures to reduce the number of accidents?

Mr. Nugent

I do not disagree with the right hon. Gentleman that road accidents are a horrifying feature in our national life. We are continually studying new methods to try to reduce the numbers and control them, but it would be a complete mistake to think that there is any dramatic method which could suddenly cure the problem. It is a matter of gradually changing people's mental attitudes to the way they behave in motor cars, and it will be a long process.

Mr. Strauss

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that one hon. Member who was killed might not have been killed if the testing scheme which the Government have so much delayed putting into operation had been in existence?

Mr. Nugent

That is not quite the same point. We are most anxious to get on with the vehicle testing scheme as soon as we can. If what the right hon. Gentleman says is correct, of course I regret it.