HC Deb 01 June 1960 vol 624 cc1436-7
20. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Transport if he will make regulations to ensure that car bumpers are at a uniform height.

Mr. Hay

I do not feel that this is a matter for regulations. The motor industry is aware of the advantages of standardisation where possible, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has made its views on this subject known to all manufacturers. Because of the wide variety of sizes of vehicles, however, it has not been found possible for all models to conform.

Mr. Lipton

Is it not ridiculous that in these days of growing congestion the manufacturers of private cars should fit bumpers of varying heights which afford no protection and sometimes cause one car to become entangled with another? It is ridiculous and something should be done about it. Why does not the Minister get on with it?

Mr. Hay

Perhaps the hon. Gentleman could advise us on the way in which we could apply standards which would be appropriate both for a bubble car and a Bentley.

Mr. Gresham Cooke

Is my hon. Friend aware that with the enormous type of American car on the one hand, and the European type minicar on the other, the only protection that the minicar could have would be to have the bumper on top of the radiator?

Mrs. Slater

Is it not more important that the Ministry should consider introducing regulations governing the weight and strength of the bumpers, which is perhaps more important than standardisation?

Mr. Hay

That goes a little beyond my right hon. Friend's responsibility. I must emphasise that bumpers on cars are not really a safety measure. They are intended to provide protection for vehicles from damage.

Mr. Lipton

In view of the very unsatisfactory nature of the reply, I wish to give notice that I hope to raise the matter on the Adjournment.

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