HC Deb 25 October 1939 vol 352 cc1416-8W
Mr. McGovern

asked the Minister of Transport whether he can state the number of persons killed and injured on the roads in Scotland for each week since the commencement of the black-out and similar figures for Glasgow; and the figures for the same periods of 1938?

Captain Wallace

I regret to state that the number of persons reported as having died as a result of road accidents in Scot-laud during the month of September, 1939, was 136, compared with 46 in September, 1938. Weekly figures and information as to the number of injured are not available. The corresponding figures for Glasgow were 30 and 10, respectively.

Sir R. Acland

asked the Minister of Transport whether he can say approximately what part of the increase in fatal road accidents occurs in hours of darkness and what part in hours of daylight?

Captain Wallace

I assume that the hon. Baronet refers to the period since the black-out was put into operation. For the month of September I have no information on this point for the country as a whole, but an analysis of some 300 fatalities in eight districts indicates that during that month by far the greater part of the increase was due to accidents during the hours of darkness. For October and subsequent months, I hope to obtain figures which will show the proportion of fatal accidents occurring during the hours of darkness.

Mr. Gledhill

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the increase in road accidents due to black-out conditions, he will assist drivers of road-vehicles by marking bollards, corners and crossing by means of reflecting studs?

Captain Wallace

I do not think that under black-out conditions the extended use of reflecting studs, which would involve heavy expenditure, would help the drivers of road vehicles more than the methods now adopted. With the approved type of masked headlamp and the use of white paint in accordance with the directions given to highway authorities, drivers exercising proper care should have no difficulty in picking out corners and crossings. Instructions have already been issued to local authorities regarding the suitable illumination of bollards.

Sir E. Graham-Little

asked the Minister of Transport whether, in view of the increase in road accidents apparently occasioned by the black-out conditions, he will consider reducing the speed of motor-vehicles in towns, from the present limit of 30 miles to 15 miles an hour or less during the black-out hours?

Captain Wallace

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave to a similar question by my hon. Friend the Member for Hulme (Sir J. Nall) on 15th September last, of which I am sending him a copy.