Road Safety Bill [HL]
Lord Davies of Oldham (Deputy Chief Whip (House of Lords), HM Household; Labour)
My Lords, that is certainly an interesting point, although they are not the only vehicles on the road with opaque windows. There is no opacity with regard to the driver's window, for a start—so the police can make a challenge. It is also the case that if a police officer suspects that something illegal is being done, he is perfectly entitled to make the necessary checks. It would not take him long to open a door to discover how many passengers there were inside.
So I do not believe that enforcement is a difficulty. What is at stake here—and what the noble Lord is trying to resolve with his amendment—is how the vehicles are rendered safe and proper and meet our licensing requirement, which is to guarantee safety on the road. We believe that the current legislation fully provides for any form of operation envisaged. We are aware of concerns in this area and officials are actively looking at what can be done to clarify the position for all parties. We recognise that we will need to get the licensing regime absolutely clear so that the licensing authorities know what kind of vehicles they are dealing with and deal with them properly. But we are absolutely certain that, when vehicles are operating illegally, prosecutions are occurring, because we are concerned about that.