On 11 April 1900 a man was caught speeding between Hatfield and Hitchin. Reginald Lawrence of Lowestoft was charged with driving in excess of the regulated speed and at such a rate as to endanger his passengers.
The prosecution stated that that maximum speed allowed was 12 mph, but it appeared that the defendant left Hatfield at 5.40 and had arrived at Hitchin at 6.30, covering a distance of 14 miles at an average speed of 17 mph.
P.S. O’Conner said he had received information regarding the car and went towards London Road, Hitchin at 6.25. He met the defendant in Sun Street at 6.30. Mr Lawrence, who defended himself, said he was sorry if he had offended against the law although he didn’t think he had. When driving, it was his practice to show every consideration for horse and foot traffic, as he wished to make motor cars more popular throughout the country.
It transpired that Mr Lawrence had a civil letter from the police at Lowestoft to be careful in driving about, but no complaint.
The Magistrates found that the defendant had driven at rate beyond that allowed by regulations and he was fined £5, including costs.