§ 2.51 p.m.
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.
§ [The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government:—
- 1. the number of prosecutions for offences against the 20 m.p.h. speed limit, other than in built-up areas, imposed upon certain classes of goods carrying vehicles during the last convenient measuring period of twelve months;
- 2. the number of prosecutions for offences against the 30 m.p.h. speed limit, other than in built-up areas, imposed upon certain classes of goods carrying and passenger carrying vehicles during the same period; and
- 3. the number of prosecutions for offences against the speed limit imposed upon private cars during the same period.]
THE JOINT PARLIAMENTARY UNDER-SECRETARY OF STATE FOR THE HOME DEPARTMENT (LORD LLOYD)
My Lords, I regret that the statistics cannot be broken down so as to provide precisely the information that the noble Lord has asked for. The reason is that the figures for those vehicles which have a fixed speed limit—that is to say, lorries and passenger-carrying vehicles— 487 are not kept in a form which distinguishes between offences committed within a built-up area and offences on the open road. The nearest available figures which I can give the noble Lord and which relate to England and Wales for 1952 are, however, as follows: (1) prosecutions for exceeding the speed limits imposed on goods vehicles—and this, I might explain to the noble Lord, includes in one figure prosecutions in regard to both the 20 m.p.h. and 30 m.p.h. limits imposed on goods vheicles—30,027; (2) prosecutions for exceeding the 30 m.p.h. limit on passenger-carrying vehicles, 3,697; (3) prosecutions of drivers of private cars for exceeding the 30 m.p.h. speed limit in built-up areas. 32,733.
§ LORD LUCAS OF CHILWORTH
My Lords, while I thank the noble Lord very much for his reply, might I ask whether he would be good enough to represent to his right honourable friend that it would be more convenient and more useful if, in future, the statistics were compiled in the divisions mentioned in my Question? Would he further agree that the fact that in the twelve months there have been only 3,000 prosecutions for all the passenger service vehicles of this country, both inside and outside restricted areas, shows that the law has not been enforced to any great degree?
In reply to the first part of the noble Lord's supplementary question, I will certainly draw the attention of my right honourable friend to his representations about the form that the statistics should take in future. Whether this will be difficult or not I am not quite clear, but I will certainly ask my right honourable friend about it. As regards the second part of the noble Lord's question, I could not agree with him as easily as that: I think there are other factors which have to be considered.