§ Major GLYN
asked the Home Secretary whether he can, and will, take such action as will prevent the drivers of chars-a-bane being permitted to drive from a seat which is used by passengers; and whether, as London omnibus drivers have a separate seat apart from all other passengers, it is considered any more unnecessary for a driver of a char-a-bane to be crowded on his seat when steering a heavy vehicle often on a road with bad gradients and congested with other traffic, and frequently unknown to him?
§ Mr. NEAL
I have been asked to answer this question. A Departmental Committee has recently been appointed to consider the whole question of the licensing and regulation of hackney vehicles. The point raised by my hon. and gallant Friend will be within their terms of reference, and pending the receipt of their Report, I do not think it is desirable to promote any special Regulations upon the lines suggested. I may add that I am advised that it is doubtful whether any powers exist to make such Regulations, at any rate, in the provinces.
§ Major GLYN
asked the Home Secretary whether the Metropolitan Police or any county police have power to refuse licences for public motor vehicles that do not correspond to certain requirements; what are those requirements regarding brake-power, width, weight, loaded and unloaded, length, and visibility by the driver of overtaking traffic; and whether local authorities have power to fine the owners of such vehicles if they proceed over roads notified as unsuited to such traffic?1251W
§ Mr. NEAL
I have been asked to answer this question. All public motor vehicles must comply with the general law as laid down in the Motor Car (Use and Construction) Order, 1904, the Heavy Motor Car Order, 1904, and the Heavy Motor Car (Amendment) Orders, 1907 and 1921, in so far as they bear on the matters referred to in the question. The Metropolitan Police, and in the provinces, the Hackney and Stage Carriage Licensing Authorities, also have discretion to refuse a licence for a particular vehicle on grounds relating to its fitness. As regards the last part of the question, it is an offence under the Roads Act, 1920, for a vehicle to be driven over a road on which its use has been prohibited by an Order under Section 7 (4) of that Act.
§ Sir A. HOLBROOK
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Transport whether, having regard to the increasing number of heavy motor vehicles and the check caused to traffic by them, he will issue Regulations that all such heavy vehicles shall carry side reflectors so that the drivers may see when smaller vehicles behind them are endeavouring to proceed?
§ Mr. NEAL
The Minister of Transport has no power to make Regulations requiring heavy motor vehicles to carry mirrors or other devices whereby drivers can be made aware of overtaking vehicles. I would, however, refer my hon. and gallant Friend to the recommendations contained in paragraph 189 of the recently issued Second Interim Report of the Departmental Committee on the Taxation and Regulation of Road Vehicles. I am send-
Class of Offence. From 1st January, 1921, to 30th April, 1921. From 1st January, 1922, to 30th April, 1922. No front lights … 34 18 No rear red lights … 18 13 Identification mark not illuminated … — 46 Driving in a dangerous manner … 24 32 Failing to stop and remain stationary at request of constable … 9 7 Failing to stop after accident … 1 3 Failing to give audible warning of approach … 1 — Failing to produce licence … 1 — Driving without licence … 7 6 Negligent driving … 1 — Obstruction … 12 15 Exceeding speed limit … — 2 Using ineffective silencer … — 1 108 143
ing him a copy of the paragraph in question.