Road Accidents (Warning Triangles)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 27th January 1970.

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Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South 12:00 am, 27th January 1970

asked the Minister of Transport whether he will use his existing powers to require, by statutory order, the use of a red triangle, phosphorescently illuminated for employment after dark, to be placed on the road compulsorily, by vehicles broken down or otherwise stopped, to warn oncoming traffic and reduce dangers of collisons, notably in inclement, misty and foggy weather.

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

Motorists are permitted to place an advance warning triangle on the road if they break down or have an accident. My right hon. Friend has no powers under existing legislation to require motorists to use these signs.

Photo of Sir Gerald Nabarro Sir Gerald Nabarro , Worcestershire South

Is the hon. Gentleman aware that practically every West European country requires these red triangles to be placed on the road—that is, in an obligatory fashion by statute? Will he reconsider this matter with a view to introducing legislation? Alternatively, will he support private legislation for what is a very necessary reform?

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

I am sure that the whole House is concerned about road accidents. We are at present studying, in connection with the suggestion made by the hon. Gentleman, the relative merits of the hazard warning devices which are at present permitted. We will be making a statement and, if necessary, we will seek powers.

Photo of Mr Arthur Lewis Mr Arthur Lewis , West Ham North

Why, pending those decisions being taken, cannot my hon. Friend recommend motorists to obtain these implements and use them when necessary? They are relatively cheap and serve a useful purpose. Will he make a positive statement while the investigation is proceeding?

Photo of Mr Albert Murray Mr Albert Murray , Gravesend

I said that we are examining warning devices. There is absolutely nothing to stop a motorist from obtaining these devices if he desires so to do.