HC Deb 19 April 1967 vol 745 cc560-1
29. Mr. Barnes

asked the Minister of Transport what plans she has to prevent wrecked cars, which are disposed of by people who are not comprehensively insured, from being cannibalised and offered for resale without any indication being given of the fact that they have been involved in a serious accident.

Mrs. Castle

Section 68 of the Road Traffic Act, 1960, already prohibits the sale of a motor vehicle if it is in unroadworthy condition. Measures to strengthen enforcement of this section are contained in the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill.

Mr. Barnes

I compliment my right hon. Friend on the big steps which she has already taken in this direction. Would she not agree that it is desirable to make these arrangements completely watertight to stop all wrecked cars from getting back on the roads in an unsafe condition and not just those which have passed through the hands of the insurance companies?

Mrs. Castle

The essential requirement is that no unroadworthy vehicle should get on the road. I entirely agree. The measures of the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, introduced by my hon. Friend the Member for Gateshead, West (Mr. Randall), are an important step in the direction of enforcement, but there is a great deal which purchasers of secondhand cars can do for themselves. They ought to have them properly examined before they buy them.

Mr. Carlisle

Does the right hon. Lady not realise that this is a very serious problem which gives rise to a great deal of criminal activity, not so much in the sale of cars in an unroadworthy condition, but in the buying of broken-down wrecks and their rebuilding into other cars? Would this not be best met by the compulsory handing-in of the log book of any car sold as a total wreck?

Mrs. Castle

I think that the hon. Gentleman knows that the motor insurers have agreed that, from 1st May, when a total loss demand is made on a seriously damaged car, an entry will be made in the log book. It would be wrong to assume that they should be totally taken off the roads necessarily.

Mr. Spriggs

Does my right hon. Friend's answer mean that tyres are also taken into account when considering the roadworthiness of a vehicle?

Mrs. Castle

Certainly the roadworthiness of the whole car is taken into consideration.

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