HC Deb 15 May 1963 vol 677 c1304
25. Mr. Hilton

asked the Minister of Transport if he will take steps to make it compulsory for tractors when being driven on the road to be fitted with flashing indicators.

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

My right hon. Friend expects to lay new regulations revising the technical requirements for direction indicators in the near future. We wish to have some experience of how the new requirements work out in practice before making it compulsory for any vehicle to be fitted with such indicators, but the hon. Member's view will be taken into consideration at that stage.

Mr. Hilton

While thanking the hon. and gallant Gentleman for that reply, may I ask him whether he is aware that in rural areas this is a particular problem? At the present time a tractor driver giving hand signals very often cannot be seen at all, especially when driving a tractor laden with straw or hay. Does he not agree that as youngsters of sixteen have been let loose to drive tractors on the roads for quite long distances now, it is important that a regulation of this sort should be introduced?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

We quite agree with the points which the hon. Gentleman has made. None the less, we think it is better to make quite sure that we have the right kind of indicators before we start to make their fitting compulsory.

Mr. P. Browne

Will my hon. and gallant Friend bear in mind the other point of view, that if a tractor is towing a trailer full of hay and straw the indicators will not be seen at all, and that probably the tractor driver's arms are a more reliable form of indicator than the type which it is suggested should be fitted to a tractor which is being knocked about across the country?

Vice-Admiral Hughes Hallett

I think that when the new regulations come out my hon. Friend will find that this point has been taken care of.