Drivers (Hours of Work)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 18th December 1957.

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Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East 12:00 am, 18th December 1957

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, in view of the increasing infringement of Section 19 of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, in regard to hours of work and Section 16 of the Road and Rail Traffic Act, 1933, concerning the keeping of drivers' records, what additional action he is taking to ensure a better observance of these statutory requirements.

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

I am trying to recruit more driving and traffic examiners so that more can be employed on the enforcement of these statutory provisions.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

While welcoming that reply, may I ask if the Minister is aware of the very grave increase in these offences, and that evidence of them appears weekly in the commercial Press? Is he also aware that even the Road Haulage Association has recently drawn attention to the increases in the breach of the law in these respects? Will the Minister do everything in his power to see that this breaking of the law, which is due to excessive competition, is brought to an end as soon as possible?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

In this respect, I agree with the hon. Gentleman. The present staff of driving and traffic examiners is 857, and we are hoping to increase it soon to 911, which will enable a much greater amount of enforcement to be carried out.

Photo of Mr Ernest Davies Mr Ernest Davies , Enfield East

Is it not a fact that only about one hundred of these examiners are engaged on enforcement work, and does the Minister consider that that number will be enough to cope with over a million vehicles on the roads?

Photo of Mr Harold Watkinson Mr Harold Watkinson , Woking

No, I do not; but when we get over the bulge in the driving tests, which I hope we shall be able to do very soon, a very much larger proportion of examiners will be used on enforcement.