Pedestrians (Casualties)

Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 11th July 1988.

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Mr. Robert G. Hughes:

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what research has been undertaken in the last two years into measures to reduce pedestrian casualties.

Mr. Hughes:

I thank my hon. Friend for that full answer to my question. When looking at pedestrian casualties, has my hon. Friend taken into account the important part that can be played in preventing casualties by using speed humps to slow down vehicles? Does he agree that it is almost impossible for a local authority to institute speed humps, because the road either has too much or too little traffic and never seems to be quite right?

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

I may arrange to have more detailed information placed in the Official Report. This year we are spending £1·5 million as part of a £5 million pedestrian-related safety programme.

We are on our second or third set of regulations relating to speed humps. I should be delighted to relax the regulations again. They have been made tight in the past to avoid their being rubbished because of one accident, but they can prevent many. I hope that we will find ways of reducing or eliminating the cost of drainage, which accounts for two thirds of the cost of road humps. More road humps could then come in. I will pay special attention to the degree of traffic.

Photo of Graham Allen Graham Allen , Nottingham North

The Minister will be aware that the North report on road traffic law has been published, and he will have a copy. When will that report be brought before the House in the form of legislation, especially to avoid pedestrians being killed by reckless driving or—under the North recommendations—the new offence of "bad" driving?

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The House will know that my right hon. Friend has promised a preliminary report before the end of this Session—the rest will follow on. I look forward to the time when heavy goods vehicles will stop intimidating and crashing into cars; cars will stop crashing into motor cycles; motor cyclists will leave cyclists alone; cyclists will leave pedestrians alone; and pedestrians will not get so drunk and kill so many of themselves. We all need to recognise the importance of co-operation on our roads.

Photo of Mr Simon Coombs Mr Simon Coombs , Swindon

Does my hon. Friend recognise that the answer to pedestrian safety lies in education? What discussions have he and his departmental colleagues had with the Department of Education and Science about pedestrian safety tuition being included in the core curriculum for all schoolchildren?

Photo of Peter Bottomley Peter Bottomley Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

It is not so much a question of incorporating that into the core curriculum, as of trying to go from one school out of five knowing what it is doing about road safety training to five out of five. The Department of Transport, the Department of Education and Science and local education authorities have a responsibility to ensure that any parent, teacher or governor can work through a checklist so that more can be done to provide safety for the children in their school.