HC Deb 11 June 1959 vol 606 cc1177-8
53. Mr. Lipton

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many drivers were convicted in 1957 and 1958 for failing to report an accident in which they were involved.

Mr. Renton

In 1957 the number of persons found guilty in Magistrates' Courts in England and Wales on charges of failing to stop after or to report an accident was 7,090. I regret that the figure for 1958 is not yet available.

Mr. Lipton

Has the hon. and learned Gentleman taken note of the fact that the figures of hit-and-run drivers have risen from 6,360 in 1950 to 7,090 in 1957? Is he aware that under the Road Traffic Act hit-and-run drivers cannot even have their licences endorsed and certainly cannot have them cancelled? Is it not time that the provisions of the Road Traffic Act were examined again to increase the punishment that is imposed for this very despicable kind of offence?

Mr. Renton

That will be a matter for consideration when legislation of that kind comes up in future, but that may be some time ahead.

Mr. Osborne

Will my hon. and learned Friend take encouragement from the evidence that hon. Members opposite are inclined to support increased penalties for crimes?

Mr. Paget

Do these very heavy figures include people who may bump the car in front or behind when coming out of a car park? There are a great many such incidents which are completely trivial.

Mr. Renton

A great many accidents which take place are not serious accidents but nevertheless have to be reported.