Dangerous driving

Hertfordshire Mercury, 18th March 1916

Transcript

At Petty Sessions, Miss Gwendolene McFarlane of Muswell Hill, formerly of Hertford, pleaded not guilty to a charge of speeding and thus of dangerous driving.

P.C. Holding said that, on Sunday the 13th of February, at about noon, he had been on duty near Hatfield Station when he had seen the defendant driving up Brewery Hill at 20 to 22 mph.  This was in a 10 mph limit area, and he said also that there was “a wonderful lot of vehicular and pedestrian traffic about at the time”.  He said that there was also a dangerous bend in the road near Hatfield Brewery.  He said that there was always a lot of traffic about on a Sunday morning and that he had previously counted as many as 500 vehicles passing to and fro on a single Sunday.  Mr Hugh Lucy, a Special Constable, corroborated this evidence.

Mr Taylor Parkes, speaking for the defendant, submitted that there was not sufficient evidence to justify the charge, and that there had been no imminent danger.  He admitted that the defendant had exceeded the 10 mph limit, but only slightly, and that this had been done so as to get up the hill near the Brewery.  The defendant had had no difficulty in stopping when requested to do so by the Constable, and had not even had to apply her back brake.  He said that there had been only one other car in the road at the time.  When asked by one of the Magistrates as to the power of the vehicle, he confirmed that it was of 20-25 horsepower.

The father of the defendant, Mr O. P. McFarlane, said that he had been sitting in the back of the vehicle, and that he felt sure it had been doing only 15 mph, and also that there had been no other traffic on the road at the time.

The Bench decided that the case was proved, and the defendant was fined £1.

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