Motor cyclist fined

Hertfordshire Mercury, 27th March 1915


At Hatfield Petty Sessions, George Alan Smith, of Muswell Hill, North London, was summoned for driving a motor-cycle at Hatfield at such a speed as to be dangerous to the public on February 28th.  P.c. Hagger stated that on the Sunday morning in question he was in the Square on point duty when he saw the defendant coming from the direction of London on a motor-cycle driving at about thirty miles an hour.  The witness put up his hand for him to stop, and he did so, but could not pull up for 38 yards.  There were several children about, and a good many troops.  Corpl. Harry Prichard of the 24th County of London Regiment, who was billeted at Hatfield at the time of the offence, corroborated the Constable’s statement.

The defendant stated that he passed the policeman before he beckoned him to stop.  He heard a shout, and on looking back over his shoulder saw the Constable holding up his hand.  He did not realise quite what he meant, because, he was not aware that he was going too fast or at such a speed as would render him liable to be stopped.  However, he shut off the engine, looked round again, saw the Constable coming after him and then stopped.  It was quite incorrect to say that he saw the Constable before he got to him, because the officer was standing right back on the footpath.  He, the defendant, knew that there was a ten miles an hour speed limit in Hatfield because he passed through every week-end.  He admitted saying to the Constable ‘Don’t lay it on too thick’.

The Chairman said the defendant was no doubt exceeding the speed limit, and in addition it was a very dangerous corner.  The magistrates were bound to guard the safety of the inhabitants.  The defendant had a clean licence, and therefore he would be treated leniently by being fined £1, including costs.

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