HC Deb 11 May 1960 vol 623 cc409-10
43. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Minister of Transport for how many years he has received police analyses of the motor accidents on which prosecutions have been initiated in the courts of summary jurisdiction.

Mr. Hay

Particulars of individual road accidents involving personal injury have been reported by the police to my Department since 1949. These reports do not distinguish accidents as a result of which proceedings were taken.

Dame Irene Ward

Will my hon. Friend have a look at the recent analysis published in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, which gives a very great deal of detail about the accidents on which police prosecutions have been taken? Will he bear in mind that I am rather inclined to think that, in relation to road accidents, all the emphasis on learner drivers and old cars, etc., begs the question and that a very much more detailed examination of the reasons for accidents would serve the purpose of my right hon. Friend much better than the present system?

Mr. Hay

Yes. I very largely agree with what my hon. Friend said in the second part of her supplementary question. It is for that reason that my right hon. Friend the Minister is seeking to have a detailed investigation made of all the Christmas road accidents so that we can, if possible, learn some useful and constructive lessons from them. That is something about which I hope that we shall be hearing before very long.

Mr. Benn

Will the hon. Gentleman tell the House whether the Road Research Laboratory, which has the greatest experts on the factors leading to road accidents, is brought into the analysis of figures by the police forces so that a really accurate indication of the causes is made available to the Minister of Transport?

Mr. Hay

No, I do not think that it is, but I will inquire into that and let the hon. Gentleman know.

Mr. Popplewell

When the Minister completes his research, will he publish the figures and results?

Mr. Hay

We will give consideration to that.

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