The first cases in the Stevenage district for breaches of the Lighting Order came before the Stevenage Bench on Thursday last week. The report, being delayed in the post, reached us too late for insertion in our last issue.
The first case was that of Arthur Warren, grocer, of High Street, Stevenage, who was summoned for failing to reduce or shade inside lights on his premises on November 6. The defendant admitted the offence.
PC Harrowell deposed that while on duty about 8.5 p.m. on the evening in question he noticed lights shining through a window and door of the defendant’s premises at the back. The light could be seen for some considerable distance. He called the defendant’s notice to the matter and he at once attended to them. The witness had warned the defendant previously about his shop lights, but not those at the back.
In fining the defendant 10s. 6d. the Chairman said as it was the first case under the Order they would be lenient, but it was a very serious offence, and the defendant ought to remember the risk to his neighbours and the whole town.
William George Lisles, motor engineer, Woolmer Green, was summoned for having too powerful lights on his motor-car at Stevenage on October 31.
The defendant pleaded not guilty.
Insp Warren deposed that while on duty at 10.40 p.m. on Saturday night, October 31, he saw a motor-car travelling in the direction of Knebworth. The lights on the car were throwing a beam for about 150 yards, and the witness stopped the driver (the defendant), ordering him to reduce his lights. The defendant wanted to know why he had not been stopped at other places, and asked what he (the witness) would do if he did not put his lights out. The witness replied that he would put them out, and then the defendant put one lamp out. The lights could have been reduced but the defendant was stubborn.
The defendant denied that he refused to put out the lamps, and maintained that the light was not a powerful one.
PC Kirby gave corroborated evidence, and PC Peek, Knebworth, spoke to cautioning the defendant the same evening at 9.40 p.m. He then pretended to do something with the lamps, but jumped on the car and went off with the lights still very brilliant.
Supt Reed pointed out that the defendant had committed no offence at Knebworth as the public lights had not been reduced. The Order applied to two places where the lighting had been reduced, and in passing through those places motorists must not have lights throwing a beam more than 30 yards.
The defendant alleged that the Welwyn police told him to black his lamps, and PC. Peek said they must be white, so that there was no agreement. He maintained that the light was only one candlepower, and was therefore not too powerful.
The Bench convicted, and imposed a fine of 21s., the defendant being cautioned to be more careful in the future.