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Mr. Kidney: I learned with astonishment today that my youthful and hon. Friend the Minister will not seek re-election at the next general election. He is an excellent Minister in the transport team, and if I am fortunate enough to be elected to the next Parliament, I shall miss his expertise, forcefulness and wit.

I agree with the Minister that this is a very good Bill. It is more extensive than many people give it credit for, with 51 clauses and six schedules. It demonstrates the Government's commitment to improving road safety. In that respect, it complements a very successful 10-year safety strategy. As he says, we are well ahead of some challenging targets for reducing the number of those killed and seriously injured on our roads. That is particularly impressive with the target relating to children—the toughest target in the strategy.

Of course, as my hon. Friend also said, we have reached a bit of a plateau in the reduction in fatalities in the past couple of years. There are two main reasons for that; one is the increase in deaths among motor cyclists and the other is the increase in the number of deaths caused by drinking and driving. I welcome the publication of the Government's new national motor cyclists strategy since the completion of the Bill's consideration in Committee, and I look forward to the implementation of that strategy in helping to get the number of deaths among motor cyclists under control, and start reducing it again.

The Bill contains welcome measures on drinking and driving, but I regret that the Government still do not agree with me that we should reduce the drink-drive limit and thus help to bring down the number of deaths caused by drink-driving each year. Regarding the enforcement of all our road traffic laws, but especially those on drinking and driving, I welcomed the joint statement issued on the day of the Bill's Second Reading by the Association of Chief Police Officers, the Department for Transport and the Home Office on improving the visibility of policing on our roads and reducing the number of deaths and injuries on our roads through better policing.

During the Committee stage, we had the belated publication of the Home Office consultation following the Halliday report, which covered offences including driving resulting in deaths on our roads. It is right to
 
8 Mar 2005 : Column 1486
 
take time over the consultation, and when we draw up offences as a result of the document. It is important to get the links between the different offences right, to consider what the correct sentences will be, and to decide the evidence that should be admissible for that set of offences.

I wish to draw attention to the fact that our newly qualified first-time drivers are at the highest risk of being casualties or causing casualties on our roads. Although young new drivers constitute only 10 per cent. of the total number of drivers, they are involved in 29 per cent. of the crashes that result in an injury or fatality. People are most likely to cause death or injury on the road during the first two years after qualification.

Although it is fair to say that we have improved the standards of instruction and the quality of the driving test in recent years—that has included introducing the new theory test and the more recent hazard perception test—more needs to be done. The Bill attempts to do something more about the quality of instructors and says a little more about the test. Even though this is not addressed in the Bill, I must point out that throughout the entire process of learning and practising for the test and passing it, people do not have to prove that they have the competence to drive at night or on a motorway. We need to give attention to those matters. In fact, there is a good scheme that can be undertaken after passing the test called pass plus. It is successful and allows people to experience those driving conditions. I do not know how much assistance the Department gets from the insurance industry to promote the scheme, but it at least offers reduced premiums to people who have been through it. I think that we could do more to promote the scheme and persuade more new drivers to undertake it, because that could reduce the number of casualties on our roads.

Adopting central European time in this country is beyond the Bill's remit, but changes to our clock could give us more daylight in the evenings. Research has shown that that could dramatically reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries on our roads, so it is a shame that we do not discuss the contribution that such a change could make to road safety more often.

The Bill is welcome because its measures could improve road safety in the future. I would like more emphasis to be put on education about casualties and the prevention of them, which explains why I tabled new clause 16 on speed awareness courses. Many of the measures that we have discussed, including my proposals on education and prevention, would not necessarily require primary legislation, so although I commend the Bill to the House, I urge the Department to continue to drive down the number of casualties on our roads using all the powers and levers at its disposal, not just the legislative one.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill accordingly read the Third time, and passed.

DELEGATED LEGISLATION

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),


 
8 Mar 2005 : Column 1487
 

Northern Ireland



That the draft Higher Education (Northern Ireland) Order 2005, which was laid before this House on 8th February, be approved.—[Mr. Jim Murphy.]

The House divided: Ayes 250, Noes 116.

Division No. 120
[6.49


AYES

Adams, Irene (Paisley N)
Ainger, Nick
Ainsworth, Bob (Cov'try NE)
Allen, Graham
Anderson, Janet (Rossendale & Darwen)
Armstrong, rh Ms Hilary
Atherton, Ms Candy
Atkins, Charlotte
Austin, John
Bailey, Adrian
Baird, Vera
Bayley, Hugh
Beard, Nigel
Benn, rh Hilary
Benton, Joe (Bootle)
Berry, Roger
Best, Harold
Betts, Clive
Blackman, Liz
Bradley, rh Keith (Withington)
Bradley, Peter (The Wrekin)
Bradshaw, Ben
Brown, rh Nicholas (Newcastle E Wallsend)
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Burden, Richard
Burgon, Colin
Burnham, Andy
Byers, rh Stephen
Byrne, Liam (B'ham Hodge H)
Cairns, David
Campbell, Alan (Tynemouth)
Campbell, Mrs Anne (C'bridge)
Caplin, Ivor
Casale, Roger
Caton, Martin
Cawsey, Ian (Brigg)
Chapman, Ben (Wirral S)
Chaytor, David
Clark, Mrs Helen (Peterborough)
Clark, Dr. Lynda (Edinburgh Pentlands)
Clark, Paul (Gillingham)
Clarke, rh Tom (Coatbridge & Chryston)
Clarke, Tony (Northampton S)
Clelland, David
Coaker, Vernon
Coffey, Ms Ann
Cohen, Harry
Colman, Tony
Cook, Frank (Stockton N)
Cook, rh Robin (Livingston)
Cooper, Yvette
Corbyn, Jeremy
Cousins, Jim
Cranston, Ross
Cruddas, Jon
Cummings, John
Cunningham, Jim (Coventry S)
Cunningham, Tony (Workington)
Dalyell, Tam
Davey, Valerie (Bristol W)
David, Wayne
Davies, rh Denzil (Llanelli)
Dawson, Hilton
Dismore, Andrew
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Frank
Dowd, Jim (Lewisham W)
Drew, David (Stroud)
Dunwoody, Mrs Gwyneth
Eagle, Angela (Wallasey)
Eagle, Maria (L'pool Garston)
Edwards, Huw
Ellman, Mrs Louise
Farrelly, Paul
Fisher, Mark
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Fitzsimons, Mrs Lorna
Flint, Caroline
Flynn, Paul (Newport W)
Foster, Michael (Worcester)
Foulkes, rh George
Gardiner, Barry
Gerrard, Neil
Gibson, Dr. Ian
Gilroy, Linda
Godsiff, Roger
Griffiths, Jane (Reading E)
Griffiths, Win (Bridgend)
Grogan, John
Hall, Mike (Weaver Vale)
Hall, Patrick (Bedford)
Hanson, David
Harris, Tom (Glasgow Cathcart)
Havard, Dai (MerthyrTydfil & Rhymney)
Healey, John
Henderson, Doug (Newcastle N)
Henderson, Ivan (Harwich)
Hendrick, Mark
Hepburn, Stephen
Heppell, John
Hesford, Stephen
Heyes, David
Hinchliffe, David
Hoon, rh Geoffrey
Hope, Phil (Corby)
Howarth, rh Alan (Newport E)
Howarth, George (Knowsley N & Sefton E)
Hoyle, Lindsay
Humble, Mrs Joan
Hutton, rh John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Eric
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda (Hampstead & Highgate)
Jackson, Helen (Hillsborough)
Jackson, Robert (Wantage)
Jamieson, David
Jenkins, Brian
Johnson, Miss Melanie (Welwyn Hatfield)
Jones, Martyn (Clwyd S)
Joyce, Eric (Falkirk W)
Kaufman, rh Sir Gerald
Keeble, Ms Sally
Keen, Ann (Brentford)
Khabra, Piara S.
Kidney, David
King, Andy (Rugby)
King, Ms Oona (Bethnal Green & Bow)
Knight, Jim (S Dorset)
Kumar, Dr. Ashok
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, David
Laxton, Bob (Derby N)
Lazarowicz, Mark
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom (High Peak)
Lewis, Terry (Worsley)
Liddell, rh Mrs Helen
Linton, Martin
Lloyd, Tony (Manchester C)
Love, Andrew
Lucas, Ian (Wrexham)
McAvoy, rh Thomas
McCabe, Stephen
McCafferty, Chris
McDonagh, Siobhain
MacDonald, Calum
McDonnell, John
MacDougall, John
McFall, rh John
McGuire, Mrs Anne
McIsaac, Shona
McKenna, Rosemary
Mactaggart, Fiona
McWalter, Tony
McWilliam, John
Mahmood, Khalid
Mallaber, Judy
Mann, John (Bassetlaw)
Marris, Rob (Wolverh'ton SW)
Marsden, Gordon (Blackpool S)
Marshall, David (Glasgow Shettleston)
Marshall-Andrews, Robert
Martlew, Eric
Meale, Alan (Mansfield)
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Miliband, David
Mitchell, Austin (Gt Grimsby)
Mole, Chris
Moonie, Dr. Lewis
Morgan, Julie
Morley, Elliot
Mountford, Kali
Munn, Ms Meg
Murphy, Denis (Wansbeck)
Murphy, Jim (Eastwood)
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
O'Hara, Edward
Olner, Bill
Owen, Albert
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Pearson, Ian
Perham, Linda
Picking, Anne
Pickthall, Colin
Pike, Peter (Burnley)
Plaskitt, James
Pope, Greg (Hyndburn)
Pound, Stephen
Prentice, Ms Bridget (Lewisham E)
Prentice, Gordon (Pendle)
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Prosser, Gwyn
Purnell, James
Rapson, Syd (Portsmouth N)
Reed, Andy (Loughborough)
Robertson, John (Glasgow Anniesland)
Rooney, Terry
Ruddock, Joan
Russell, Ms Christine (City of Chester)
Ryan, Joan (Enfield N)
Salter, Martin
Savidge, Malcolm
Sawford, Phil
Shaw, Jonathan
Sheerman, Barry
Short, rh Clare
Simpson, Alan (Nottingham S)
Skinner, Dennis
Smith, John (Glamorgan)
Soley, Clive
Starkey, Dr. Phyllis
Steinberg, Gerry
Stewart, Ian (Eccles)
Stinchcombe, Paul
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin
Stringer, Graham
Stuart, Ms Gisela
Tami, Mark (Alyn)
Taylor, rh Ann (Dewsbury)
Taylor, David (NW Leics)
Thomas, Gareth (Clwyd W)
Timms, Stephen
Tipping, Paddy
Todd, Mark (S Derbyshire)
Touhig, Don (Islwyn)
Trickett, Jon
Truswell, Paul
Turner, Dennis (Wolverh'ton SE)
Turner, Neil (Wigan)
Twigg, Derek (Halton)
Twigg, Stephen (Enfield)
Walley, Ms Joan
Ward, Claire
Wareing, Robert N.
Watts, David
White, Brian
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, Malcolm
Wills, Michael
Wilson, rh Brian
Winterton, Ms Rosie (Doncaster C)
Wood, Mike (Batley)
Wright, Anthony D. (Gt Yarmouth)
Wright, David (Telford)
Wright, Iain (Hartlepool)
Wright, Tony (Cannock)

Tellers for the Ayes:

Mr. Tom Watson and
Margaret Moran


NOES

Ainsworth, Peter (E Surrey)
Atkinson, Peter (Hexham)
Bacon, Richard
Baldry, Tony
Baron, John (Billericay)
Barrett, John
Beggs, Roy (E Antrim)
Bercow, John
Boswell, Tim
Brady, Graham
Brazier, Julian
Breed, Colin
Burnside, David
Burt, Alistair
Butterfill, Sir John
Campbell, Gregory (E Lond'y)
Carmichael, Alistair
Cash, William
Chapman, Sir Sydney (Chipping Barnet)
Chidgey, David
Chope, Christopher
Clappison, James
Collins, Tim
Davey, Edward (Kingston)
Dodds, Nigel
Donaldson, Jeffrey M.
Dorrell, rh Stephen
Doughty, Sue
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Flook, Adrian
Foster, Don (Bath)
Fox, Dr. Liam
Francois, Mark
Gale, Roger (N Thanet)
George, Andrew (St. Ives)
Gidley, Sandra
Gill, Parmjit Singh
Goodman, Paul
Greenway, John
Grieve, Dominic
Harvey, Nick
Hawkins, Nick
Hayes, John (S Holland)
Heath, David
Heathcoat-Amory, rh David
Hermon, Lady
Hoban, Mark (Fareham)
Hogg, rh Douglas
Howard, rh Michael
Howarth, Gerald (Aldershot)
Hunter, Andrew
Jack, rh Michael
Jenkin, Bernard
Jones, Nigel (Cheltenham)
Key, Robert (Salisbury)
Kirkwood, Sir Archy
Knight, rh Greg (E Yorkshire)
Laing, Mrs Eleanor
Letwin, rh Oliver
Lewis, Dr. Julian (New Forest E)
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Lidington, David
Llwyd, Elfyn
Loughton, Tim
McIntosh, Miss Anne
Maclean, rh David
McLoughlin, Patrick
May, rh Mrs Theresa
Moore, Michael
Moss, Malcolm
O'Brien, Stephen (Eddisbury)
Öpik, Lembit
Osborne, George (Tatton)
Ottaway, Richard
Page, Richard
Paice, James
Paisley, Rev. Ian
Paterson, Owen
Prisk, Mark (Hertford)
Pugh, Dr. John
Rendel, David
Robathan, Andrew
Robertson, Laurence (Tewk'b'ry)
Robinson, Mrs Iris (Strangford)
Rosindell, Andrew
Ruffley, David
Russell, Bob (Colchester)
Sanders, Adrian
Shephard, rh Mrs Gillian
Simmonds, Mark
Spink, Bob (Castle Point)
Spring, Richard
Stunell, Andrew
Swayne, Desmond
Swire, Hugo (E Devon)
Syms, Robert
Taylor, Ian (Esher)
Taylor, John (Solihull)
Taylor, Matthew (Truro)
Taylor, Sir Teddy
Thomas, Simon (Ceredigion)
Thurso, John
Trimble, rh David
Turner, Andrew (Isle of Wight)
Watkinson, Angela
Webb, Steve (Northavon)
Widdecombe, rh Miss Ann
Wiggin, Bill
Williams, Roger (Brecon)
Winterton, Ann (Congleton)
Winterton, Sir Nicholas (Macclesfield)
Wishart, Pete
Yeo, Tim (S Suffolk)
Young, rh Sir George
Younger-Ross, Richard

Tellers for the Noes:

Mr. Peter Luff and
Mr. David Amess


Question accordingly agreed to.


 
8 Mar 2005 : Column 1489
 

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),
 
8 Mar 2005 : Column 1490
 

Fees and Charges

Question agreed to.

Motion made, and Question put forthwith, pursuant to Standing Order No. 118(6) (Standing Committees on Delegated Legislation),


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