HC Deb 08 March 1967 vol 742 cc284-6W
97. Mr. Edwin Wainwright

asked the Minister of Transport what regulations she has issued to improve the safety of vehicles since she took office; and what further safety measures she has under consideration.

Mr. John Morris

A. My right hon. Friend has made the following regulations to improve the safety of vehicles:

Amendments to Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations on red rear reflectors, S.I. 1966 No. 30;

Amendment to the Construction and Use Regulations banning the use of re-cut tyres, S.I. 1966 No. 724;

The Motor Vehicles (Tests) (Extension) Order 1966, to reduce the age limit of vehicles subject to the test to four years and subsequently three years, S.I. 1966 No. 973;

Amendments to the Construction and Use Regulations on Brakes, S.I. 1966 No. 1288:

  1. (a) Braking efficiencies for new and existing goods vehicles laid down;
  2. (b) Permission of split-braking system;
  3. (c) Permission of use of "spring" brakes;
  4. (d) Improved brakes required on trailers;

Amendment to the Construction and Use Regulations requiring new goods vehicles to be fitted with plates showing maximum laden weight at which vehicle is fit for use;

Amendment to the Construction and Use Regulations requiring the fitting of seat belts on motor cars and light goods vehicles registered after 1st April, 1967, S.I. 1966 No. 1288;

Traffic Signs (Temporary Obstructions) Regulation permitting the use by motorists of the red triangle advance warning, S.I. 1966 No. 1474.

B. She has also circulated draft regulations dealing with the following subjects:

Limitation of gross weight of vehicles fitted with "over-run" brakes,

Maintenance of tyres,

Compulsory fitting of headlamps,

Improved standard of cycle rear lamps,

Improved windscreen wipers.

Requirement that new vehicles should have windscreen washers,

Improved safety standards for public service vehicles covering:

  1. (a) Electric circuits,
  2. (b) Number, spacing and widths of accesses,
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  4. (c) Handrails and gangways and
  5. (d) Certain other amendments to improve stability of buses and to permit the lowering of step heights.

C. Working parties have been considering the following proposals:

Regulations on the Use of Headlamps,

Regulations to improve the standard of rear reflectors,

Regulations requiring the fitting of stop lamps,

Regulations requiring the fitting of direction indicators,

The improvement of the lighting and marking of the rear of vehicles, particularly goods vehicles,

The improvement of side marking of vehicles,

The compulsory fitting of a device to operate all direction indicators simultaneously as an emergency warning signal,

The use of reflectorised number plates,

The use of distinctive lights on vehicles with very wide loads,

The improved marking of projecting loads,

The prohibition of the carriage of passengers in trailers,

Safety seats,

Safe frames for internal mirrors,

Maintenance and number of driving mirrors,

Rear bumpers for larger goods vehicles to prevent under-running by small cars,

Side guard rails for long vehicles to reduce the danger of cyclists and pedestrians falling under the rear wheels,

Inspection holes on brake drums to see extent of wear on the brake linings.

D. In due course, we hope that the working parties will review the whole of the Construction and Use and the Lighting Regulations taking into account what is being done in Europe and in the United States. Some work has already been done within the Ministry and will be continued, either through the working parties or other appropriate means on the following more important items:

Increasing the scope of the vehicle test to include tyres corrosion, windscreen wipers, windscreen washers, direction indicators, stop lamps and seat belt anchorage points.

Further lowering of the age limit of vehicles subject to the test,

The improvement of headlamp aiming,

The position and characteristics of lamps on the front of vehicles.

The specification of standards and approved marks for all items of lighting equipment,

Dangerous external projections on vehicles,

Internal protection for vehicle passengers,

Anti-burst locks for vehicle doors,

The layout of controls of motorcycles,

The standardisation of the layout of vehicle controls,

The ventilation of vehicles,

Headboards of goods vehicles,

Better mudguarding of goods vehicles,

Safe anchorages for seats,

Agreeing a British Standard for testing and quality of brake lining materials,

Braking standards of efficiency for locomotives and tractors,

Braking standards for "Special Type" vehicles,

The suitability of tyres for loads to be carried.

The above lists do not cover the special requirements of agricultural vehicles and machinery when they are used on roads, nor those proposals for the safety of goods vehicles, including those related to their testing, plating and type approval which derive from the Road Safety Bill.