Cleaning up a few odds and ends. On another thread about sidelamps/headlamps we touched on traffic laws. Below are a few excerpts from a 1906 state by state speed limit and other traffic rules and laws:
Illinois had a maximum speed limit of 15 mph. "Over speeding" fines of $25 to $250, with "imprisonment for not more than 3 months."
New York was estimated to have over 20 percent of all motor vehicles in the U.S. during this time. The speed limits for NY were 4 mph on bridges, curves and "steep descents." 10 mph in built up and business areas, 15 mph where houses average less than 100 feet apart, and 20 mph in the country.
Fines were $50 to $100 for first offense, and could include up to 30 days in jail. $100 in 1906 equals about $2500 today!
All listed states:
I have always wondered, how the hell they could tell you were actually speeding. If you were not in your home town and an officer thought you were speeding, just open the throttle, they were still using horses! If ya had at least a decent car that would go over 30 of course!
I suspect the high fines were a result of attitudes such as those expressed in these articles !
The accounts I've seen have police making arrests on foot and bicycle. It also seems corner phone boxes may have been an equalizer, as police would phone ahead to have another officer make the arrest.
A humorous Ford "fluff" story that received national distribution in newspapers. In reality, I've found two speeding ticket stories on Frank Kulick speeding on his way to races in a six cylinder car, one in Michigan and one near Atlanta.
Frank Kulick testing a Model K (driver, front car):
You must remember in 1906 the majority of vehicles on the road were horse drawn. This was probably true through about 1911 or 1912. The majority of the public gets laws that are beneficial to them. As auto use proliferated, lawmakers made laws that were more applicable to ease of use for automobiles and less amenable to horse drawn vehicles.
Which brings us to today, when the current fascist New York mayor is doing everything he can to remove horses permanently from New York streets.