§ 38. Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Minister of Transport if he will have discussions with the motor industry about the desirability of fitting a duplicate braking system on motor cars.
§ Mr. Marples
All cars are at present required to have two independent means of brake operation; if one fails there must still be sufficient braking power to bring the vehicle to rest. My technical officers started discussions with the motor industry same time ago about the possible revision of current requirements. In these discussions the merits of divided service brake systems will be given full weight.
§ Mr. Johnson
Is my right hon. Friend aware that a considerable number of accidents have occurred through a failure of the hydraulic braking system, and that perhaps he is mistaken in supposing that I am referring also to the hand brake. Is the Minister aware that in the new Type "E" Jaguar cars, for example, a duplicate hydraulic system is provided at very little extra cost? Would not such a system make an important contribution to road safety?
§ Mr. Manuel
Is the right hon. Gentleman sure that his reply is correct? Is he not aware that the hand brake is inadequate to stop heavy commercial vehicles going down a steep decline if there is a faulty hydraulic braking system?
§ 39. Mr. E. Johnson
asked the Minister of Transport if he will have discussions with the motor industry regarding the fitting of green lights at the rear of heavy goods vehicles to indicate to the driver of a car following them that it is safe to pass.
§ Mr. Johnson
I agree that it is the decision of the following driver, but the provision of a light such as I have suggested would at least indicate to him that it was safe to pull out from behind a heavy lorry to see whether he could pass without immediately meeting another vehicle. Would not a system of that kind make a contribution to preventing congestion behind these very tall and heavy goods vehicles?
§ Mr. Hay
I agree that that is a consideration to be borne in mind, but I think that there would be greater safety by always placing the obligation to pass on the driver who wants to pass so that he does not have to rely on some signal given by another driver in front of him. It was for that reason that we dropped from the Highway Code the signal which meant, "I am willing to be overtaken"
§ Mr. Woodburn
Is the Minister aware that the first step is to paint the back of these big vehicles white so that drivers will go round them instead of trying to go through them?