HC Deb 01 December 1965 vol 721 cc1402-3
31. Sir R. Thompson

asked the Minister of Transport if, in the interests of road safety, he will seek to make it compulsory for all road vehicles to be fitted with mud flaps.

Mr. Swingler

As my hon. Friend the Member for Meriden (Mr. Rowland) was told on 24th November, an investigation by the Road Research Laboratory has shown that mud flaps, with improved mudguards, can reduce spray behind commercial vehicles, but are of little benefit on private cars, especially when travelling at speed.

There is therefore no reason to make the fitting of mud flaps generally compulsory but we are seeking the co-operation of the motor industry in making improvements in commercial vehicles.

Sir R. Thompson

Will the hon. Gentleman look at this again? Does not he realise that a great part of the traffic, particularly on motorways, consists of lorries, for which this would be appropriate? Does not he think that here we have a simple, effective and cheap contribution to road safety, much more useful than regulations about speed limits which cannot be enforced?

Mr. Swingler

We have asked the manufacturers to try to get the general fitting of mud flaps on commercial vehicles; but we depend on the advice of the Road Research Laboratory, which has done considerable research into the effect of mud flaps on cars. I hope that the hon. Gentleman will see the film that it has made, showing that we have no case for making this compulsory for cars.

Sir A. V. Harvey

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. I do not think that my constituent, the hon. Member for Knutsford (Sir W. Bromley-Davenport), is doing too well. Can he be attended to?

Sir W. Bromley-Davenport

Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. I never felt better in my life.

Mr. Speaker

Order. I hope that hon. Gentlemen will not waste the time of the House on bogus points of order.