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Direction Indicators

Volume 645: debated on Monday 2 October 1961

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asked the Minister of Transport with which countries discussions are taking place to reach international agreement on a suitable and practicable range of intensities for traffic direction indicator lights; by whom such discussions were initiated; when they began; and whether any steps have been taken, in consultation with the manufacturers' and users' organisations, to formulate a standard acceptable to the United Kingdom Government.

An international working party has since February, 1960, been investigating the intensities suitable for direction indicators by day and by night; it consists of technical experts from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, and most Western European countries. Agreed recommendations were reached in April last which will in due course be submitted to the appropriate Committee of the Economic Commission for Europe. I propose to await the outcome of consideration by the Commission before deciding what standard of light intensity should be adopted in the United Kingdom.

Is it really necessary to await this international agreement, which is taking such a very long time, about a matter which requires urgent action to deal with it at home?

I think that any regulations about the intensity of light ought to be international in standard because of the way motor cars interchange and go through all the European countries nowadays.

Can my right hon. Friend tell us how many reports he is awaiting from various committees before the House goes into Recess? It is very important to know how many reports we shall be likely to be getting before long.


asked the Minister of Transport if she will state the number of accidents during the past two years attributable to the unnecessary brilliance of traffic direction indicator lights; and whether the problem has been the subject of investigation at the Road Research Laboratory.

No figures are available of the number of accidents attributable to the cause mentioned by my hon. Friend. Representatives of the Road Research Laboratory have been taking an active part in international discussions aimed at producing acceptable intensity levels both by day and by night.

Would my right hon. Friend agree that it is common knowledge that in many cases direction indicators are far too bright and that they not only cause a lot of inconvenience but can very easily lead to accidents?

Yes, Sir. It is for that reason that the matter is being studied. The real problem is to get an unmistakable signal in bright sunlight and at the same time avoid dazzle at night.