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Road Accidents

Volume 978: debated on Thursday 14 February 1980

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asked the Minister of Transport if the number of accidents has increased or diminished since drivers have been permitted to park their cars unlit under street lamps during hours of darkness.

New lighting regulations were introduced on 30 April 1972, permitting unlit parking of cars on roads with speed limits of 30 m.p.h. or less, provided that they are parked more than 15 yards from a junction and facing the direction of traffic flow.It is estimated that parked vehicle involvements in accidents in darkness in the following 12 months were 36 per cent. Greater than would have been expected had the regulations not been altered. This probably reflected an increase in the number of cars parked on the road at night, rather than problems in seeing parked vehicles when they were unlit. For example, amongst parked vehicle involvements in darkness in 30 m.p.h. area outside the Metropolitan Police district in 1978, 95 per cent. Occurred on streets that were lit.

asked the Minister of Transport if he will consider changing the procedure adopted when reporting road accidents to take account of the different uses vehicles are put to, as, for example, taxi or self-drive hire, rather than merely the standard classifications.

The recording of information on vehicle use would add a further burden on the police at the scene of an accident. Furthermore classification by vehicle structure is used for traffic counting where it is impossible to distiguish the uses of moving vehicles. Consistent vehicle classification for both road accidents and traffic counting is useful for the derivation of casualty and vehicle involvement rates per distance travelled.