Skip to main content

Road Safety

Volume 450: debated on Monday 23 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what response he has made to the report commissioned by his Department from TRL on the risks resulting from drivers’ vision being obstructed by A-pillars. (95507)

The research undertaken by the Department on A-pillar obscuration established that while the A-pillar may have had an influence on an accident, other confounding issues such as junction layout, street furniture and driver behaviour may also have played a part. I am concerned that we address, where practicable, issues that affect road safety but also recognise that any such actions must be supported by sound evidence. I have therefore instructed officials that we should continue to collect evidence on this issue and keep it under review.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what estimate he has made of the proportion of serious road traffic accidents that have involved a speed limit breach in each year since 1994. (95513)

The percentage of serious personal injury road traffic accidents that have ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a contributory factor in 2005 is available in the article “Contributory factors to road accidents” published on 28 September 2006. These data are not available for personal injury road accidents prior to 2005.

A copy of the article “Contributory factors to road accidents” is available in the Libraries of the House.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to encourage riders of powered two-wheelers to make sure that they have adequate lighting on their bikes. (95654)

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989, as amended (RVLR) govern the use of lights on vehicles. The RVLR require that headlights are used at night and when visibility is seriously reduced, which is generally when the driver can not see for more than 100 metres. These requirements are also explained in the Highway Code.

Enforcement of road traffic law is an operational matter for individual Chief Police Officers; their officers can issue verbal warnings, fixed penalty notices or report the motorcyclist for formal prosecution.

Through the THINK! campaign we also provide advice to motorcyclists to help them to remain safe on the roads, including the line: ‘dipped headlights, even in good daylight, can help you to be seen.'

Motorcyclists are aware of the benefits of increased conspicuity and often voluntarily make themselves more visible in daytime by using dipped beam headlamps. Since 2003 motorcycle manufacturers have voluntarily fitted devices to activate the headlamps automatically when the ignition is on, both in daytime and at night.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what proportion of serious road traffic accidents involving speed limit excession in the last period for which figures are available also involved (a) unlicensed drivers, (b) unregistered drivers, (c) uninsured drivers, (d) drunk drivers and (e) stolen vehicles. (95615)

The information requested on unlicensed drivers, unregistered drivers and uninsured drivers is not available.

Of accidents which had ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a contributory factor 12 per cent. also involved at least one driver who failed or failed to provide a breath test and 4 per cent. also involved at least one ‘stolen vehicle’, reported as a contributory factor. A serious accident is defined as an accident in which at least one person is seriously injured but no person is killed.