Foreign Lorries (Regulation)

Oral Answers to Questions — Environment – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th January 1973.

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Photo of Mr Peter Trew Mr Peter Trew , Dartford 12:00 am, 24th January 1973

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment why he will not take steps to require the carrying of reflector plates by foreign lorries.

Photo of Mr John Peyton Mr John Peyton , Yeovil

It would be unreasonable to impose national marking requirements on foreign vehicles temporarily imported into the country.

Photo of Mr Peter Trew Mr Peter Trew , Dartford

Is my right hon. Friend aware that in many cases such reflectors as are carried by foreign lorries in accordance with their own national regulations are derisory in size compared with the excellent and conspicuous reflector plates carried by British lorries? If it is unacceptable for people to crash into the backs of British lorries, it must be equally unacceptable for people to crash into the backs of foreign lorries. Will my right hon. Friend think again?

Photo of Mr John Peyton Mr John Peyton , Yeovil

There can be no disagreement about the last part of my hon. Friend's supplementary question. We are bound by two international conventions setting out rules which allow foreign vehicles to cross international borders as long as they fit in with minimum requirements. They do so without complying with national requirements. We try to set a high standard. It is my intention to influence others to follow it in due course. In the meantime, if a vehicle is positively dangerous it is open to the police to take action.

Photo of Mr Leslie Huckfield Mr Leslie Huckfield , Nuneaton

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that some home-based vehicles are continually being stopped in countries like Italy because they do not conform to local regulations? When Italian, French and German lorries come to this country, is it not time that we stopped some of them as well?

Photo of Mr John Peyton Mr John Peyton , Yeovil

I am not sure to which offences the hon. Gentleman is referring. If he lets me have details I shall look at them. We stop many foreign vehicles because of overloading, weight and dimensions.