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Speed Offences (Police Timing)

Volume 390: debated on Thursday 3 June 1943

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asked the Home Secretary how many police forces in England and Wales time the speed of motor-vehicles by a system of hand signals by police officers; and whether this method is considered satisfactory?

I regret that I have not the information to enable me to answer the first part of the Question. There is no reason why, in competent hands, the method of timing referred to should not produce accurate records of speed.

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that this practice is continually being condemned by judges and chairmen of quarter sessions owing to the likelihood of error' which always works against the motorist?

I have not been aware that there was general discontent in the Courts. I am aware that any motorist who gets caught for speeding feels that there is something wrong about it.

In view of the fact that private motoring is now nonexistent and the only motor cars on the road are those engaged on essential services, will the right hon. Gentleman abolish the system?

On the other hand, it has been impressed upon the public by the Supply Departments that unnecessary speeding is wasteful of petrol and rubber. In any case I am really not concerned with the merits of the law. I find the law as it is, and I have to enforce it.

Is my right hon. Friend aware that although there are fewer cars on the road, the public are greatly alarmed at the number of fatalities?