HC Deb 30 January 1958 vol 581 cc92-3W
58. Mr. Page

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if in view of the fact that the average fine upon conviction for motoring offences during 1956 was only £2 7s. 4d. and in respect of offences against pedestrian crossings only £1 5s. 10d., he has specifically called the attention of magistrates to the maximum fines which can be imposed under the Road Traffic Acts.

Mr. R. A. Butler

In a circular addressed to Clerks of the Peace and Clerks to Justices in September, 1956, my predecessor drew attention to the provisions of the Road Traffic Act, 1956, which increased maximum penalties for certain motoring offences, including offences against regulations about pedestrian crossings, and to the suggestion made by the Lord Chancellor in the course of the debates on the Road Traffic Bill that magistrates' courts might be well advised to review the scale of penalties which they customarily impose in motoring cases in the light of the gravity of the problem of road safety and the fall in the value of money. I do not think that any further action on my part is called for at present.

62. Mr. Page

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department to what extent the increased activity of the Metropolitan Police in enforcing motoring law has resulted from increases in manpower, police vehicles or scientific aids, respectively.

Mr. R. A. Butler

During the last three years the number of Metropolitan Police officers engaged mainly on the enforcement of the Road Traffic Acts has increased by 32, and the number of motor vehicles has increased by 20. During the same period the number of summonses and written cautions for offences under these Acts has risen by about 25 per cent.; but it is not possible to say how far this increase is due to changes in the law, to the deployment of more officers and vehicles on road traffic duties or to other factors.