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Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989

Volume 666: debated on Thursday 24 October 2019

On 23 July 2019, the Government announced a review of the available evidence to see whether a more flexible approach to the regulations permitting the use of red flashing lights by road recovery operators may be appropriate. The Department is in the process of commissioning the study, and a decision to review the regulations will be taken once the study has reported.

I am grateful for that response. The partner of my constituent Sam was killed while recovering a vehicle on the M25. Since then, she and others have been campaigning for the roadside recovery industry to be able to use red lights, rather than amber, during recoveries. The police and others have now dropped their objections, and the science shows a difference in reactions to amber light and red light, so will the Minister now give the green light to the change?

I congratulate my hon. Friend on her campaign, and the whole House sends its condolences to her constituent. Our motorways are actually the safest roads, but she raises an important point. If the public feel that the use of red lights will help them feel safer, we will be minded, after looking at the evidence, to approve the change.

My constituent Jason Mercer is dead because of the Government’s ill-conceived all-lane-running scheme on the M1. Will the Minister please meet me and Claire Mercer, Jason’s widow, to discuss the safety implications of the scheme and the stopping of next year’s roll-out?

Yes, I would be delighted to meet the hon. Lady, as will the Roads Minister, Baroness Vere. I am also delighted to confirm that the Secretary of State will be announcing a short review so that we can deal with that problem quickly.

Many of my constituents have told me about car headlights that seem undipped or exceptionally bright. This is a slightly different issue from the one we are discussing, but will there be regulations to ensure that headlights do not have an impact upon vehicles coming the other way? These lights can cause accidents.

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. We are going to take a quick look at the evidence and introduce a framework to ensure that people are safe on the edges of our motorways and that drivers know that the right regulations have been put in place for them.