HC Deb 14 November 1988 vol 140 cc465-6W
Mr. Atkinson

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what safety studies his Department has undertaken into the fitting of reversing bleepers on lorries; whether this practice has been introduced in other countries; and if he has any plans to introduce legislation to make them compulsory in the United Kingdom.

Year Total
1981 585
1982 650
1983 700
1984 695
1985 773
1986 1,038
1987 1,111
1 Includes violence against the person and indecent assault.

London Underground Ltd.: fatal accidents and injuries to staff, passengers and police
Year2 Fatal Major injury
1984 3 13
1985 6 2
1986 4 16
1987 35 25
2 Figures not available before 1984. Does not include trespassers or suicides.

London Buses Ltd.: assaults on bus staff
Year3 Total
1980 1,123
1981 1,007
1982 1,228
1983 1,157
1984 1,222
1985 1,344
1986 1,128
1987 883
3 Figures not available before 1980.

Information is not kept centrally on assaults on passengers.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

Statistical evidence shows very few road accidents involving reversing vehicles. For this reason we have no plans to make the fitting of reversing alarms compulsory. The primary responsibility for reversing safely rests with drivers. The Highway Code contains comprehensive advice about this. Reversing alarms are an aid to reversing safety. That is why we permit them to be used on certain categories of vehicle, including heavy lorries.

We have the benefit of advice from Mr. C. P. Hanson-Abbott of Brigade Electronics Ltd. and his "National Reverse in Safety" campaign. His company is the market leader in reversing alarms in this country. He has been pushing Ministers to make the alarms compulsory for heavy goods vehicles.