Dangerous Driving

Oral Answers to Questions — Solicitor-General for Scotland – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 14th January 1987.

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Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling 12:00 am, 14th January 1987

asked the Solicitor-General for Scotland what is the average length of time which elapses between charges being made for dangerous driving and an appearance in court.

Photo of Mr Peter Fraser Mr Peter Fraser , Angus East

This information is not readily available. Procurators fiscal take a serious view of cases of reckless driving and give them as much priority as their local circumstances permit.

Photo of Mr Michael Forsyth Mr Michael Forsyth , Stirling

Is my hon. and learned Friend aware of the distress being caused to relatives—especially in cases in which near relations have been involved in fatal accidents—by the considerable delays being experienced in my constituency?

Photo of Mr Peter Fraser Mr Peter Fraser , Angus East

I am aware of one case in my hon. Friend's constituency about which he is concerned and which he has discussed with me. However, I advise him that the case is now before the courts and, as it is sub-judice, I can say nothing further about it.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber

Does the Solicitor-General for Scotland agree that it would be a good and sensible thing if those who are responsible for trying driving cases, especially dangerous driving cases, which involve objective, professional and technical judgment, at least had a driving qualification of some kind themselves?

Photo of Mr Peter Fraser Mr Peter Fraser , Angus East

Although in general I understand what the hon. Gentleman is saying, if that principle were applied broadly across the criminal law field only those who had committed fraud and who had an understanding of how to do so would decide and judge such cases. Generally speaking, we require people with some intelligence and some experience, but above all, we need to see that those who judge act fairly and without prejudice.

Photo of Tom Clarke Tom Clarke , Monklands West

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker.

Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Shadow Spokesperson (Trade and Industry)

On a point of order, Mr. Speaker, arising out of questions.

I seek your guidance, Mr. Speaker, on question No. 7, which concerned the proposed merger between the Aberdeen and Dundee colleges of education. I came into questions specifically to raise a matter on that question which has direct relevance to my constituency. I should appreciate your help, Mr. Speaker, on the normal convention of the House. I have been led to believe that if a question is of direct relevance to a Member's constituency that Member will normally be called, especially in circumstances such as today, when I was the only representative—

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Order. The hon. Gentleman is questioning my authority on that matter. I must advise him that I allowed a good run on that question and that I must balance both sides of the House, and all the parties in the House. The hon. Gentleman will find that a member of his own party was called to ask a question.