HC Deb 14 January 1985 vol 71 cc6-7
6. Mr. Hunter

asked the Secretary of State for Transport what road safety or vehicle maintenance publicity campaigns are currently being conducted; and what is their cost.

Mrs. Chalker

Our publicity programme for 1984–85 has an estimated cost of £3,953,000 and has included major campaigns on child pedestrian safety, cycling safety and drinking and driving. The programme for this financial year is now largely complete.

Mr. Hunter

Bearing in mind the additional seasonal hazards facing motorists, which are likely to be with us for some weeks, will the Department consider intensifying publicity campaigns, with the aim of seeking a greater awareness of vehicle maintenance and safety among motorists when driving in ice and fog?

Mrs. Chalker

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that question. Of course, publicity on vehicle maintenance is important. We have brought out much publicity and always do so whenever new regulations are introduced. In hazardous weather motorists must be aware that they should go out only if it is really necessary. They should check their fuel, oil and anti-freeze and ensure that then-windscreens and lamps, both front and rear, are clean. However much hon. Members may charge me with being a nanny in that respect, I must say that those who do the sensible things on the road are more likely to be safe and here next week to tell the tale than those who ignore commonsense advice, which is what motoring in winter weather is all about.

Mr. Stott

As the hon. Lady and I have an abiding interest in road safety, may I ask whether she or the Department has any views on the quality of road safety which is currently being afforded by Sir Clive Sinclair's latest invention, which I am given to believe is a bike?

Mrs. Chalker

The hon. Gentleman is right to say that the C5 is a trike which falls completely within the electrically assisted pedal cycle regulations. I should make it clear that it is a bike in the sense that one has to pedal in it. There is no way in which it is a motor vehicle. We are obviously monitoring what is going on at the road research laboratory.

Mr. Higgins

I welcome the recent poster campaign encouraging pedal cyclists to have lights on at night. Will my hon. Friend recognise that the number of bicycles without lights is still appallingly high, and will she encourage the full enforcement of the law on those who risk their lives and other people's safety?

Mrs. Chalker

I could not agree more with my right hon. Friend. Whenever we can we point that out, and I know that, whenever possible, police forces insist that cyclists obey the law and have properly lighted cycles. All cyclists put themselves in terrible jeopardy if their cycle lights are not in proper working order and if they are not dressed so that they can be clearly seen on the roadway at all times.