Accidents (Protective Headgear)

Oral Answers to Questions — Roads – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th March 1959.

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Photo of Mr Reginald Moss Mr Reginald Moss , Meriden 12:00 am, 25th March 1959

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation (1) from what sources outside his Department he has received advice on protective headgear designed to minimise injury to the head in road accidents;

(2) by what methods he will publicise the availability of a protective cap or hat which will afford some protection against injury to the head in road accidents;

(3) what steps he will take to co-ordinate the efforts being made variously to improve road safety, notably by the Road Research Laboratories of the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, the motor car manufacturers, the insurance companies, the medical profession, and the British Hat and Allied Feltmakers Research Association.

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

The Road Research Laboratory, which co-ordinates activities in this field, has done most valuable work on protective helmets for motor cyclists and also on materials for protective caps for motorists and their passengers. This provided the basis of the Regulations on protective helmets for motor cyclists which we made in 1957. It would be premature as yet to set up a standard for protective caps or hats.

Photo of Mr Reginald Moss Mr Reginald Moss , Meriden

Does the Joint Parliamentary Secretary recollect that last week he gave figures of fatal casualties in 1957 which showed that no less than 63·3 per cent. were due to head injuries? Will he, therefore, undertake to do some research into this subject and, when he is satisfied that protective headgear is available for the use of motorists, to give some publicity to the fact for the better safety of motorists?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

Yes, Sir. We understand, of course, the significance of the large number of fatalities from head injuries to drivers and passengers in motor cars. When we are satisfied from the research now proceeding that these hats or protective helmets for passengers and drivers are good enough, we shall certainly be prepared to consider the second part of the hon. Member's supplementary question.