HC Deb 13 May 1959 vol 605 cc1239-40
31. Mr. G. Wilson

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation how many persons were killed and how many injured, respectively, in road accidents per thousand registered vehicles using the roads in the years 1938, 1948 and 1958, or the latest convenient year for which the figures are available.

Mr. Nugent

The figures are 2.2 and 74.0 in 1938, 1.3 and 42.5 in 1948 and 0.8 and 39.2 in 1958.

Mr. Wilson

Can my hon. Friend say whether, notwithstanding the still very high accident rate, these figures indicate there has been a progressive improvement in the standards of driving and also in the safety devices incorporated in the design of motor vehicles?

Mr. Nugent

I think that they have some element of encouragement in them to the devoted band of people who do road safety work, but the total figures of killed and injured are so high, as my right hon. Friend has just said, that none of us has reason to be complacent.

Mr. Popplewell

Would it not be better to give the actual figures in addition to percentages or rates per thousand? There has been such a big increase in the amount of traffic on the roads compared with 1938, that a better perspective might be provided if actual figures were given instead of a comparison based on percentages.

Mr. Nugent

I have answered the Question on the Paper. If the hon. Member would like an answer to that point, perhaps he will table a Question.