Road Safety

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 Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby 12:00 am, 25th March 1959

asked the Minister of Transport and Civil Aviation, in view of the proposed increased expenditure on road development and the resulting increase in the number of cars using the roads, what further action he is taking to give publicity to the need for conduct upon the roads which will promote safety for all road users beyond that already announced for 1959.

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

Publicity for road safety is organised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in a series of quarterly campaigns, presented in the main by the local authority road safety committees, who number more than 1,000. In addition, a national campaign is promoted each year. The theme this year is "Be a Better Driver". These campaigns are supported and amplified by the help we receive from the B.B.C. and the I.T.A.

Photo of Mr Graham Page Mr Graham Page , Crosby

Is my hon. Friend satisfied that this road safety message goes wide enough to reach the whole community and is not just concentrated on a few posters issued by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

Yes. Sir. We are now receiving very great help from television. Last year over 1,000 showings were made of our television "shorts", which are used as "fillers" in the programmes, which would cost, I suppose, several hundreds of thousands of pounds if we actually had to pay for the time. I am confident that these road safety messages and these short films of a quarter of a minute to two minutes, shown in special cartoon form, have been seen widely in 9 million homes. We are very grateful both to the television people and to the Shell Company who are helping us with them.

Photo of Mr George Strauss Mr George Strauss , Lambeth Vauxhall

While agreeing that these television performances are most successful and most valuable, may I ask the Minister whether he is satisfied that the amount of money granted direct to local societies for local activities is sufficient? Is it keeping up with the yearly increase in a number of accidents, and should not the contribution be substantially increased to enable societies to conduct more effective local campaigns?

Photo of Sir Richard Nugent Sir Richard Nugent , Guildford

I think it is sufficient. We look at it very closely every year, though a case can always be made out for giving more. We have been very greatly helped by the television people in disseminating this publicity, and I think that this form is really an effective one.