Thursday, May 28, 2015

“I didn’t think I was going that fast, officer”

Almost 115 years ago, Connecticut became the first state to set speed limits for motor vehicles. Wanna take a guess?

In cities, 12 mph. On country roads, 15 mph.

The law passed in May 1901 required auto drivers to slow down when approaching horse-drawn vehicles, and stop to let them pass, if necessary to avoid spooking the animals.

Speed limits and regulation of drivers and their vehicles didn’t exactly spread like wildfire. By 1930, a dozen states still had no speed limits and 28 states didn’t even require a license for drivers.

It all seems rather quaint, yet all too familiar. Sensible regulation lags far behind technological change.

Consider: the first motor vehicle accident in the United States had already occurred in 1891 in Ohio.

Copyright © Richard Carl Subber 2015 All rights reserved.

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