HC Deb 19 May 1960 vol 623 cc1466-7
18. Dame Irene Ward

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether, in the interests of road safety, he will prepare a comprehensive analysis of the police prosecutions in respect of motor accidents taken before the courts of summary jurisdiction, on the lines of the local statistics published by the police authority in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Mr. Renton

I am not aware of any comprehensive analysis of prosecutions in respect of motor accidents in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. My hon. Friend may have in mind an analysis of the causes of road accidents contained in the annual report of the Chief Constable to the police authority. My right hon. Friends the Minister of Transport and the Secretary of State for Scotland publish each year a volume of statistics relating to road accidents which contains comparable information on a national basis.

Dame Irene Ward

While thanking my hon. and learned Friend for that reply, may I ask him if the Home Office is aware that the Minister of Transport has stated that the new analysis of accidents which he has undertaken is the first of its kind? Does not my hon. and learned Friend think that it is most extraordinary that we should have been talking about road accidents for years and years without any proper analysis whatever having been made of what prosecutions there were, and what followed from those prosecutions? Does he not also think that the whole basis of this examination has been deplorably neglected?

Mr. Renton

I would not accept the extreme statement which my hon. Friend has just made. These analyses are necessarily very elaborate and involve a great deal of research. The research upon which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Transport is engaged is, I understand, of a limited character, and even so it will take some time. Nevertheless, we are anxious to have as much evidence as possible about the causes of accidents.