Cyclists and the Defence of the Realm Act

Hertfordshire Mercury, 17th July 1915

Transcript

At Cheshunt Petty Sessions Summonses under the Defence of the Realm Regulations for riding bicycles without showing red rear lights were heard against the following:  Henry Britton, Wadesmill, Ware, on June 21, at 11.30 p.m..  PC McNally proved stopping the defendant, who had no rear red light on.  When told he would be summoned, he said:  ‘If you are going to summon me, you can get on with it.’  Fined 2s. 6d. or five days.

Edward George Burgess, of Springdale Villas, Crossbrook Street, Cheshunt, on June 29.  The defendant, who is a member of the Urban District Council, pleaded guilty.  PC McNally stated that at 10.25 p.m. he was in High Street, Waltham Cross, and saw the defendant riding a bicycle without showing a rear red light.  The witness called on him to stop, and he did so after proceeding a distance of about 40 yards.  The witness asked where his light was, and the defendant replied: ‘I have none.’  The witness asked for his name and address, and he said: ‘Go to the Council offices, you will find it there.’  When told the facts would be reported, the defendant said: ‘Oh dear, get on with it.’  He then got on his bicycle and rode away.  Asked if he had anything to say, the defendant related the circumstances of a previous encounter with the Constable, and alleged that the officer had a certain amount of malice, and took advantage of the opportunity of making a charge when he found he (the defendant) had no rear light.  It was not his custom to evade the law in any way, and in this case he had only a few yards to go.  Unless something was done he should report the matter to the Commissioner.  Sub-Divisional-Inspector Rayner rose and said, ‘I submit this is altogether irrelevant to the charge, and any complaint against this Constable is a matter for the Commissioner and not for the justices.  If you have any complaint, make it to the Commissioner.’  The defendant: ‘I will do that.’  Inspector Rayner:’ Then why did you not report it in the proper way?’  The defendant: ‘It is quite right to publicly expose these people where they don’t carry out their duties.’  A fine of 5s. was imposed.

Albert Fougner, Turner’s Hill, Cheshunt, on June 2, at 10.30 p.m..  The defendant was also summoned for not having a head light at the same time and place.  He pleaded guilty.  PC Broadwater said that when spoken to, the defendant said that he had been talking to some friends and forgot all about his lights.  He had both lamps on, but they were not alight.  The Bench imposed a fine of 5s. for having no red light, and dismissed the summons in respect of the front light.

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