Driving Offences: Private Land

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 5:00 pm on 13th July 2017.

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Photo of John Hayes John Hayes Minister of State (Department for Transport) 5:00 pm, 13th July 2017

I would be honoured and delighted to meet them, so of course the answer is yes.

I have a reputation for quoting poets, and I usually do so in a light-hearted or jocular fashion, as the Speaker mentioned recently. But sometimes poetry can be applied to the most difficult circumstances, and the poet John Donne said this:

“any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind”.

We are all poorer for an untimely loss of the kind my hon. Friend has raised in the House. Of course we are poorer, and of course we hurt when we lose a relative, a friend or a colleague, but we are diminished by any loss, and the tragic loss my hon. Friend described will have moved the hearts, as I said at the outset, of everyone in this Chamber, and of many beyond it who have heard this debate.

I say again that I am grateful to my hon. Friend for raising the issue of off-road vehicle offences. As I have said in reply to the debate, how we respond will depend on the joint working of a large number of bodies within Government. I am not able today to say exactly how the law will change, but given the short time from the point when this debate was announced, doing otherwise would have indicated that we had not thought this through properly. The implications of any such move will be planned carefully and considered, and we will proceed with certainty as a result of that deliberation. But I tell Members this: we will proceed with the firm intention that tragedies such as Harry Whitlam’s might be prevented in the future.

Question put and agreed to.

House adjourned.