HC Deb 27 January 1960 vol 616 cc32-3W
Mr. Iremonger

asked the Minister of Transport what research he has caused to be carried out into the reaction of the human eye in different conditions to various colours; whether he is aware that railway engine drivers are unable to distinguish red after looking for long periods at a red-hot fire, and that a red light may appear green if seen through a rapidly-moving lattice; whether he is satisfied with the present safety arrangements depending upon colour on land, in the air, and at sea; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Marples

I am aware that the human eye sometimes gives different reactions under certain conditions to various colours. The British Transport Commission is making a special investigation of the very occasional failure of railway engine drivers to observe correctly semaphore and coloured signals. The Medical Research Council is studying the problem and has appointed a Committee to advise on the research that is required.

I am satisfied with the present general safety arrangements depending on colour both on land and at sea. The colours used for this purpose have provided valuable safeguards for many years and they are standardised on an international basis. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Aviation is in agreement with these views.

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