§ 27. Mr. Hector Hughes
asked the Minister of Transport if he will state the number of motor accidents on British roads during each of the last 10 years, indicating how many each year were due to excessive speed on ordinary roads, how many were due to excessive speeds on roads without a speed limit such as M.1 and North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, and how many were due to repairs to or alterations in roads, respectively; and what steps he plans to take to obviate the dangers caused in these ways.
§ Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett
I regret that not all the information requested is available. I will, with permission, circulate those figures which are available in the OFFICIAL REPORT. They do show, for the years 1952–58, the number of personal injury road accidents, including bicycle accidents, in which excessive speed or the presence of road works were mentioned in the police report as a contributory factor; that is shown in the figures. From 1959 onwards there was a change in the accident reporting system and the only figures available are for the numbers of drivers and riders reported by the police in fatal and serious injury accidents as going too fast having regard to the conditions.
These statistics are not available for different types of road.
1247 Speed limits are being reviewed continuously to ensure that they are realistic having regard to the nature of the road and the traffic using it. A 40 m.p.h. speed limit has been in force on North Anderson Drive, Aberdeen, since 1961. Every effort is made to minimise the dangers associated with road works.
§ Mr. Hughes
Do not the figures which are known to the Minister of death and injury caused to countless people on the roads show that the elaborate regulations which the Department publishes are merely tinkering with a matter of life and death? Is not the proper way to deal with the problem for the Minister to issue a regulation providing that all motor cars should have a gadget fixed to them to prevent them from exceeding the speed limit?
§ Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett
I do not think that I can agree with the hon. and learned Gentleman. I do not for a moment underestimate the importance of excessive speed as a factor in road accidents. Neither do we view the present figures with complacency. But I would remind the hon. and learned Gentleman that in 1900 some 1,570 people were killed in traffic accidents by horse-drawn vehicles whose average speed, I suppose, was 8 m.p.h.
§ Following are the figures:
|PERSONAL INJURY ROAD ACCIDENTS IN GREAT BRITAIN, 1952–58, IN WHICH EXCESSIVE SPEED OR THE PRESENCE OF ROAD WORKS WAS REPORTED BY THE POLICE AS A CONTRIBUTORY FACTOR|
|Year||Total number of fatal, serious and slight injury accidents||Number of accidents in which the police reports mentioned as a contributory factor:—|
|Excessive Speed having regard to conditions||Road works in progress|
|NUMBERS OF RIDERS AND DRIVERS REPORTED BY THE POLICE IN FATAL AND SERIOUS ROAD ACCIDENTS AS GOING TOO FAST HAVING REGARD TO CONDITIONS|
|Year||Total number of fatal, and serious injury accidents||Number of riders and drivers reported by police as going too fast having regard to conditions|