§ Mr. HODGE
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department how many accidents, fatal and otherwise, due to motor omnibuses, taxi-cabs, and other vehicles, have occurred in London since 1st January last; whether he has any official information showing that most of the drivers of such vehicles being insured 1635W tends to make them less careful; whether, when fined in the police courts, such fines are also insured against; and whether he proposes to take any action to prevent the increasing danger to the public of the enhanced number of such vehicles now in use?
§ Mr. GLADSTONE
The following table gives the total number of accidents known to the police to have been caused in the streets in the Metropolitan Police District during the months of January to September, 1909, inclusive:—
—— Horse-drawn Omnibuses. Other Horse-drawn Vehicles (excluding Tramcars). Tramcars. Motor Cars, including Motor Cycles, but excluding Motor Cabs. Motor Omnibuses. Motor cabs. Total. Horse-drawn. Mechanically propelled. Number of accidents—caused by 710 12,084 288 3,463 3,534 2,850 2,975 25,844 Number of accidents above in which personal injury resulted, caused by 160 3,864 86 1,454 1,575 809 795 8,743 Number of cases in which the injuries proved fatal, when caused by 8 88 2 22 53 45 6 224
It is known that in some cases when drivers of public carriages have been convicted the penalty has been paid from funds provided by the men's clubs or associations or by subscriptions among their comrades, but how far the knowledge that their fines will be paid for them affects the drivers and makes them less careful is not a matter which can be estimated by official returns. The police are well aware of the need of vigilance in dealing with motor traffic, and I do not think that there is any special action in this connection which can with advantage be taken at present.