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Vehicles (Direction Indicators)

Volume 641: debated on Sunday 7 May 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport whether his attention has been drawn to the larger type of road transport vehicles which are not fitted with trafficators; and what consideration he has given to this matter in his efforts to reduce road traffic accidents.

The fitting of direction indicators is not yet a compulsory requirement for any class of vehicle; I do not expect to decide whether or not to make direction indicators compulsory until we have had experience of the working of new regulations affecting indicators, where these are already fitted, proposals for which I have circulated for comment. The proposals are based on the recommendations of a Working Party of the Economic Commission for Europe. Detailed comments are now being received and studied.

Will the Minister of Transport, when looking at this problem of trafficators, also consider the problem of the size of the vehicles now being produced for our roads, and the size of the cabs, as well as the difficulties of following traffic in observing the signals given by the drivers of these very large vehicles, and also the danger which these vehicles constitute on the roads today?

Yes, Sir. That will be one of many considerations which we have in mind. These regulations have been circulated, and I am now awaiting comments. It is very important that we should make absolutely certain before we make anything compulsory that it is the right signal. I very much hope that we can get an international standard, so that cars going to the Continent will have to comply with the same standards as here.

The right hon. Gentleman has referred to the problem of trafficators on these large vehicles—these outsize vehicles, I might say. Some articulated vehicles are over 100 feet long, carrying weights of up to 150 tons. Is the Minister aware that for the past three years I have been constantly assured in this House that the Ministry has an inter-Departmental committee considering the whole question of out size vehicles on the roads, but that nothing emerges from the consideration of this committee? Is it not time that we got some definite lead from the Government as to what we are to do about these monstrosities?

I am afraid that the hon. Gentleman's supplementary question is misconceived. I can send him details of quite a lot that has been done on heavy vehicles.