Oral Answers to Questions — Transport Industries – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 25th November 1970.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to introduce legislation to make it compulsory for lorries over a specified length, and particularly articulated lorries, to have reflective strips along the sides.
Is my hon. Friend aware that on country roads at night long lorries, particularly articulated lorries, turning off the main road present an impossible problem? One cannot see any lights at all. Will my hon. Friend reconsider this matter?
I think that my hon. Friend has spotlighted a real problem, but I must tell him that legislation already requires vehicles over 8 metres long and trailers over 5 metres long to be fitted with two amber reflectors on each side. Most vehicles of those sizes already have them, and they require to be fitted by the end of this year.
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will introduce legislation to make it compulsory for pedal bicycles to have reflective strips over the entire length of their rear mudguards.
I wish that my hon. Friend would think again about this matter. I have in mind bicyclists generally and road safety as a whole. Bicycles on country roads frequently have a very small red light which is sometimes obscured by dirt. It would be a good idea if reflective strips were fitted. The cost of such strips is negligible—under a shilling, I am told.
While accepting and sharing my hon. Friend's concern for the safety of pedal cyclists, I must point out that my Department has got there before him. An improved standard of cycle rear lamp has been required since 1st November, 1969, and new cycles have had to be fitted with an improved quality rear reflector from 1st July this year.
As one who has cycled for many years, may I say that the fitting of reflective strips on cycles might be an improvement, but a great deal of the problem arises because the motorist is speeding so fast that he is on the cyclist before he realises it. Will the Minister bear that in mind?
I suggest that the hon. Gentleman tables a Question about the speed of cars.