HC Deb 30 July 1959 vol 610 cc675-6
50. Sir F. Medlicott

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he is satisfied that, when members of the public send to the police the registration numbers of motor bicycles which make excessive noise on the highways, the police have adequate powers under the regulations to inspect such machines at the homes of the owners and to test the amount of noise they make; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Renton

The police have powers, under the Motor Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations. 1955, to test the silencer of a motor vehicle on private premises, with the agreement of the owner of the premises and of the owner of the vehicle. My right hon. Friend is informed by the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis that these powers are of limited value and are seldom exercised. Apart from difficulties about access to premises, there is no satisfactory equipment which the police could use for measuring noise; excessive noise is often due to misuse of the vehicle rather than to any mechanical defect; and even if a vehicle is found to have a defective silencer no offence is committed unless it is used on the road in that condition

Sir F. Medlicott

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware that much of the mischief in this matter is caused by motor cyclists who either remove or interfere with the silencing devices which have been so carefully provided by the manufacturers and that the public would welcome any opportunity that could be found of their being able to help the police in the efforts to reduce what is becoming a very serious and unpleasant nuisance?

Mr. Renton

It is a fact that the removal of effective silencers gives rise to great nuisance. I hope that as many people as possible will bear in mind what my hon. Friend has said.

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