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2nd October 1923, Page 28
2nd October 1923
Page 28
Page 29
Page 28, 2nd October 1923 — OPINIONS FROM OTHERS.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

The Editorinvites corresPOndenCe on all subjects connected with the use of comnwrcial motors. Letters should be on one side of the paper only and typewritten by preference. The right of abbreviation is reserved, and no responsibility for views expressed is accepted.

Greater Safety on the Road.


[2210] Sir;—This company's vehicles TIM many thousands of miles per annum, and the number of accidents during the past year due to negligent driving was nil. It is absolutely essential that the driver has confidence in himself and his machine, otherwise he is useless.

We lay stress upon the fallowing points: 1. Each new driver is sent out with one of our skilled men, and any faults he has are pointed out and always rectified. The writer's decision regarding 'the employing of a new man is final. 2. A driver found consuming intoxicating liquor during working hours is instantly dismissed. 3. Each driver is given one week's holiday per year, excluding the usual Bank Holidays, etc. 3. Drivers are forbidden to carry passengers.

Apart from the above regulations, it is necessary for each vehicle to be in good running order, as defective brakes, inefficient engine power, and defect tive lamps, etc., are often the causes of serious accidents. Drivers, therefore, make out reports when necessary, and repairs are attended to before the vehicles are again placedin commission.

I raised a storm of protest last year when I wrote to the Press regarding competency certificates for motor drivers, but I still advocate that, before the licence is issued, the applicant should pass a physical and practical examination.—Yours faithfully,

IL W. OAKLEY, A.M.I.Mech.E., Engineer, CURRIE AND CO. (NEWCASTLE), LTD. Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


[2211] Sir,—Having read the articles in your paper and also in the daily Press concerning the increasing number of accidents on the road, I ba.nnot help noting that the letters in. The Commercial Motor seem to deal with the methods each firm has adopted to induce its own drivers to avoid accidents, and blame is placed at the doors of certain other classes of road user. What is required, however, is a general idea of reconstruction of the laws of the road and the Jaws governing the users of the road. It will be several years before the danger spots on even our main roads. can be obviated, so, for the present, we must put up with the roads as they are.

First, a driver's licence should only be granted to a person who is physically fit. This would fail quite nuniber. Secondly, a test should be passed before. an applicant be allowed to drive a car on the road without another driver alongside. This should apply Lo all drivers, owners or otherwise. All cars should be fitted with a mirror, and it should be made a law .that one Car should not pass another without a signal from the front ear. If the driver of the overtaking car thinks.the car in front has held him up unnecessarily, he would have the right, to take out a summons against the driver for obstruction.

The reason some drivers get annoyed when a heavy car will not pull over is because they cannot see through it, and so do not know there may be a slowmoving vehicle or a wobbly cyclist in front, and the heavy driver is anxious to keep his speed if on a gradient and to pass first.

A large majority-of the accidents occur when one car is overtaking another. An inexperienced driver has never estimated the time it takes to overtake when there is little difference in the respective speeds of the. vehicles, or accurately considered how soon

B42 two cars will meet when travelling towards one another. It is therefore, necessary for us to have strictly enforced laws governing the overtaking question. The antiquated 12 m.p.h. limit means more overtaking. Danger signs should be put up by competent offi. cials, and, between these signs, a certain speed (according to the degree of danger) should be enforced ; consequently, there would be no overtaking on these sections. These signs should be put up by the Ministry of Transport and not by local authorities, who would put them up at places where not necessary and would, consequently, make the thing. ridiculous.

With all the finest laws and roads, you will encounter the road hog. There is only one cure for him. Prevent him from driving. Other drivers, whenever possible, shauld report any bad driving observed by him, not necessarily with a view to a prosecution but to enable the police to know who are the bad drivers, and to watch them until they either mend their ways or are deprived of the wheel.

Something will have to be done about headlights, even if some anti-dazzle cannot be invented. The terrific rays and power are quite unnecessary.

Pedestrians should be taught to walk on the righthand side of the road (facing the oncoming traffic), and motorcyclists with a five-seater touring-car load should have better brakes. The authorities should have the power to refuse a licence for an old ca.r,that is unsafe.---Yours faithfully, G. W. PEEL, Traffic Manager,



[2212] Sir,—I quite agree with you in your contention that the drivers of commercial motors are, on the whole, skilful and careful: So far as our own staff is concerned, I might mention that during 1922 we carried 8,000,000 passengers on our country and city buses in and around Oxford, and we did not have one case of personal injury to passenger or other person caused by negligence on the part of the men. This, I think, speaks for itself. It may be asked what special steps we take to encourage careful and considerate driving. In the first place, we see that every conveyance is turned out for service in as perfect a condition as possible, very special attention always being given to the steering and brakes. Every driver is carefully selected and trained, and supplied with rules and regulations prepared for their guidance, and we insist upon careful adherence to them.

A special rate of speed of 12 miles per hour for country, and much less for city buses, has to be strictly adhered to. If we find A man giving way to fast driving, he is at once suspended. From a long experience, am clearly of opinion that most of the accidents that are caused, not only by commercial motors, but by private cars, can be attributed to fast driving. I need hardly say that we insist upon our men abstaining from drinking intoxicating liquors when on duty. We pay our men a good rate of wages, and find that they value their job and do their best to carry out our regulations, and by that means retain their job and escape accidents.—Yours faithfully,

ARTHUR A. TYLER, General Manager,


Wanted, A New Model.

• The Editor, THE 00.111tEltC4AL MOTO.u.

[2213] Sir,—The article on the above subject in your issue of September 18th should be of great interest to the manufacturers of commercial motors. The whole object aimed at by the introduction of mechanical transport has been to provide a better means of carrying goods than the old method, namely, the horse. For most classes of transport the motor has achieved a victory, but that there is a certain class of work in which the horse still seems to hold his own few can deny.

I also have recently had occasion to visit the stables of some very large firms who employ both motor and horse as means of transport, and I, too, was .struck with the number of splendid young horses still in use. The firms in question could not be looked upon as being ignorant of the possibilities of motors, nor could they possibly be labouring under any delusion as to the comparative costs of the two methods. As understand the matter, for certain work the horse is still cheaper than the motor, and this alone is the reason why horses are still used. The prophecies we heard some time back that horses would shortly be found only in the Zoo and the Natural History Museum have, not been fulfilled. The horse is still very much in evidence, and is not only to be found working for poor men, who 'cannot afford motors, or for those who are not yet alive to the advantages of mechanical transport, but is still to be found in the service of railway companies_and wealthy firms who employ motors on a large scale.'

So far as I can ascertain, the lower working cost of the horse is the main factor which is keeping the . motor back, and it is up to our engineers to do their best to produce a model which will bring down these costs at least to the level of horse transport costs, or, if possible, below them.

In these hard times sales are none too plentiful, and, if a new model would help to provide work for our factories and our mechanics, every possible effort should be made to produce it. Personally, I feel confident that such a model could be produced, provided sufficient care and attention were given to the design. To bring about this end, our engineers will have to get right out of their minds the idea, that the horse is entirely beaten, and to look the matter straight in the face. The first step seems to he to ascertain from the users of mixed fleets of motor and horse transport in exactly what points the horse is found to be cheaper than the motor, and in this matter I feel, Sir, that you can help. Having ascertained such facts, the next thing is to decide what power, capacity, load, spised, etc., are required. Having got all such details settled, I think it should not be found impossible to design a. vehicle which will fill the bill. I notice that the article referred to mentions the evolution of a suitable vehicle for use as a bus as an example of what can be done when there is a firm intention to achieve victory.

It must, however, be borne in mind that at that time the operation and the designing. of buses were conducted by one concern ; consequently, their engineers were more intimately in touch with the exact requirements of the vehicle they were designing than is the case with ordinary vehicles. I feel confident that a more intimate knowledge of the points in which the horse still scores is all that is necessary for our engineers to enable them to produce.

the required model . —Yours faith fully, C.M.L.


[2214] Sir,—As a tradesmari; with customers scattered over a particularly wide area, I find that transport is one of my biggest expenses and, curiously enough, customers do not, or will not, realize that what they themselves can buy at a certain price in the market-place cannot be delivered by me at their residences at the same figure. If my area for deliveries were more compact I should employ horses despith the disadvantages, but, as I utilize motors, I must say that I agree with your criticism. We want lower first cost, cheap maintenance, low fuel and oil consumption and a quick "get-away."--Yours



Organisations: Ministry of Transport
Locations: Oxford

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