How fast is dangerously fast ?

Hertfordshire Mercury, 28th March 1914


At Hertford Borough Sessions, Reginald John Obott, of Bush Hill Park, Enfield, was charged with driving a motor bicycle at a dangerous speed in Fore Street.

Police Constable Hill stated that, on 1st March, he had been on duty at the Plough Hotel corner when the defendant came along from the town at a very fast speed.  There had been a large number of people coming out of South Street where they had been to view the houses that had been burnt out the previous day.  There was also a crowd of children and others near the Plough waiting to see the Militia go to church.  He had called on the defendant to stop as he was going at a very dangerous pace, but he was going so fast he could not stop until he had gone 50 yards beyond the Plough.  Police Constable Gates gave corroborative evidence.

The defendant’s advocate said that the defendant was quite a novice at driving a motor bicycle and, in fact, had only been out on it once before.  On this particular occasion, he had been out for the purpose of testing his carburettor, which meant that he was testing the low, and not the high, speed.

The defendant stated that he was driving slowly, and had frequently ridden through Hertford at a much greater speed on an ordinary bicycle.  He said that there had been nobody in the road, and that he had not considered it necessary to give any warning. He said that he had not gone to any speed greater than 15 mph.

The Bench considered that the defendant did not take sufficient care in driving through the town.  He was fined £1, including costs.

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