Motor Vehicles (Winking Traffic Indicators)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 16th November 1955.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Mr Robert Crouch Mr Robert Crouch , North Dorset 12:00 am, 16th November 1955

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation if he has yet considered the report from the committee set up to inquire into flashing indicators on motor vehicles; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I cannot yet add to my Answer last week to Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for Norfolk, Central (Sir F. Medlicott) and the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Vauxhall (Mr. G. R. Strauss).

Photo of Mr Robert Crouch Mr Robert Crouch , North Dorset

Does my right hon. Friend not realise the urgency of this matter? There are today, to my knowledge, five different types of these flashing lights, with five different colours. Since 1939 the need for standardisation has been impressed upon us. Why, therefore, should we have so much confusion with so many different signals?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

As, I think, my hon. Friend knows, the use of these devices was authorised a year or two ago at the request of the motor industry to facilitate its export trade so as to permit standardisation of signs on the basis of those used in foreign countries. I really think that before deciding to make any reversal of what was, from the point of view of that important trade, a valuable concession, it is essential to complete a proper and expert examination, and to be quite clear which of these signs can be authorised and can continue to be authorised without danger. It is not quite so easy a matter as my hon. Friend might think.

Photo of Mr Reginald Paget Mr Reginald Paget , Northampton

Could we ever get any improvement if we were tied to one method? Cannot people have the intelligence to see that all these indicators mean that cars are going to turn?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I think that the hon. and learned Member somewhat oversimplifies the problem.

Photo of Sir Frank Medlicott Sir Frank Medlicott , Norfolk Central

Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that the primary consideration is the safety and convenience of users of our own roads and not the export trade?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

Yes. That, of course, is my prime responsibility in the matter; but the same considerations do not apply to all these signs, and I think it is important to get the answer right.

Photo of Mr Ernest Fernyhough Mr Ernest Fernyhough , Jarrow

Will the Minister remind the British Motor Trade Association that the car which sells the best in the world and is today competing effectively with British production is the Volkswagen, which still has the arm type of indicator? If that is selling in Europe and America, why should we resort to flashing indicators?

Photo of Mr John Boyd-Carpenter Mr John Boyd-Carpenter , Kingston upon Thames

I think that the British motor industry, which has done a very good job in the export trade, is familiar with that problem.