HL Deb 31 July 1962 vol 243 cc222-3

After Clause 29, insert the following new clause:

Wearing of protective headgear

("(1) The Minister may make regulations requiring, subject to such exceptions as may be specified in the regulations, persons driving or riding (otherwise than in side-cars) on motor cycles of any class or description specified in the regulations to wear protective headgear of such description as may be so specified.

(2) Regulations under this section may make different provision in relation to different circumstances.

(3) Any person who drives or rides on a motor cycle in contravention of regulations under this section shall be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding fifty pounds.").


My Lords, this is an Amendment which would enable the Minister to make regulations requiring drivers or pillion passengers on motor cycles to wear safety helmets. It will not give him power to require sidecar passengers to do so, but he could require both the driver and pillion passenger, or only the driver or only the pillion passenger to wear one. He could exempt from the requirement certain types of rider, such as children under fourteen whom it might be difficult to fit with helmets, and he could also exempt certain types of machine such as mopeds. Although there are objections, and pros and cons of arguments, by and large it seems in the interest of the community that my right honourable friend should have the power to make such wearing compulsory. I can say this. My right honourable friend does not intend at the present time to make it compulsory, because he wishes to continue to do his best, by propaganda and other methods, to persuade people who ride motor cycles to wear them voluntarily. The latest figures I have heard reveal that 67 per cent. of male riders wear them, and 70 per cent. of females. That is pretty good, but it still leaves 30 per cent. who are at considerable risk. My right honourable friend wishes, as I say, to try to continue by persuasive methods to get them to wear helmets, but I think it is right, and I am sure your Lordships would wish, that he should have these powers in reserve for use if necessary. I beg to move.

Moved, That this House doth agree with the Commons in the said Amendment.—(Lord Chesham.)

On Question, Motion agreed to.