HC Deb 05 November 1980 vol 991 cc1266-7
6. Mr. Pawsey

asked the Minister of Transport if he will mount a new advertising campaign using all forms of advertising to promote road safety in general and to reduce the level of road casualties among schoolchildren in particular.

Mr. Fowler

Advertising and publicity have a vital role to play in road safety, particularly in respect to the young. I am spending nearly £5 million this year on publicity campaigns. This is in addition to voluntary sponsorship such as that provided by the Sunday Mirror, "glow worm" campaign and from firms such as the Co-operative Wholesale Society and VG stores.

Mr. Pawsey

I thank my right hon. Friend for that particularly helpful reply, which is characteristic of him. Will he outline the measures that he might introduce in legislation during the forthcoming Session?

Mr. Fowler

With a supplementary question such as that, my hon. Friend's constituency must need a bypass or something of that kind. He knows that in addition to the legislation that I hope we shall put forward there will be a continuing need for publicity and advertising. If one takes drinking and driving as an example, the Blennerhassett committee proposed that the advertising and publicity campaign should continue, and I am sure that that is right.

Mr. Skinner

Did the Minister say "Jesus wants him for a glow worm"? With regard to road safety, especially in relation to children, is the right hon. Gentleman aware that one of the problems that children face when crossing the road is to find a way to do so in Tory areas such as Cumbria, where 41 school crossing patrols have just been dismissed? How does the Minister have the cheek to talk about keeping death off the roads when he is driving young children to their death?

Mr. Fowler

That is a pretty stupid comment from the hon. Gentleman. I do not regard road safety as an issue of party politics, but if the hon. Gentleman looks at the figures, which I know he does not want to do, he will see that the 1979 figures for child safety and child casualties, are, I am glad to say, the best since 1958. That is the answer to the hon. Gentleman.