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TRACTION ENGINE TRAFFIC.

Correspondence on the subject of the regulation of the traffic of traction engines upon public roads having recently appeared in our columns, it will be of interest to many of our readers to learn that the subject has not escaped the notice of our legislators n Parliament assembled. Before referring to the proposals for legislation on this subject now under consideration of the House of Representatives, let us premise that on the one hand it is evident that traction engines are bound to come into more extensive use, and that, in the interest of farmers, it is not desirable that that any vexatious or unnecessary restrictions should be imposed as to their use of public roads ; and that, on the other hand, the probable increasing frequency of traffic renders it imperative that due provision be made for the public safety. To this latter end bye-laws have been passed by the County Council in pursuance of the powers conferred by the Counties Act, 1885, but through a curious oversight in the passing of the Municipal Corporations Act of the same year no provision was made for allowing Municipal authorities to make regulations on this subject. Hence it follows that, while the Act may be, and to some extent is controlled upon County roads, traction engines may pass through any street in a crowded city at any hour, and in any way without let or hindrance. To remedy

this oversight the member for Waimate (Major Steward) has introduced a Bill, " The Municipal Corporations Act, 1876, Amendment Act, No. 2," which proposes to enact as follows, viz :— "The Council may from time to time make, alter, or repeal bye-laws for regulating the times when, and the conditions on which traction engines may be allowed to pass along any street or road without the borough, and to impose penalties for the breach of said bye-laws." If this Bill becomes law, one very necessary point will be gained, but that alone will not fulfil all that is required. As regards the traffic on the county roads, the byelaws of our own county, at any rate, are anything but all that could be desired, and even were they perfect, it would still be desirable that better provision should be made for their enforcement. We are, therefore, glad to learn that Messrs Walker and Steward have taken advantage of the fact of the introduction of the Police Offences Act Amendment Bill to wait upon the Colonial Secretary, and urge that provision be made in. that Bill for the regulation of tractionengine traffic. The result has been, as we see by the Order Paper, that Captain Russell has given notice to I move the addition in Committee of the following clause :—(5) Section 4 of the principal Act shall be amended by the additions of the following new subsections :—" (13) Any person who, being in charge of any traction engine, shall propel, or cause the same to be propelled along or over any public road, highway, street, or bridge, unless the engine shall be accompanied by two men at the least, whose function it shall be to keep a constant look-out both in front of and behind the engine for horses and vehicles which may be approaching, and assist them in passing the engine in safety; (14) who, being in charge of any traction engine, as aforesaid, shall, upon being signalled by the rider or driver of any horse or vehicle to stop such engine, fail so to do, or who, if it hall appear to the rider or driver of any horse or vehicle meeting or overtaking such engine, of difficulty in assingthe same, shall fail to forthwith stop and render all possible assistance ; (15) whu shall propel any traction engine, or cause the same to be propelled, upon, along, or over any public road, highway, street, or bridge, » tween sunset and sunrise, unless the engine shall carry as a signal a red light showing both in front and behind j (16) who shall propel, or cause to be propelled, any traction engine along or over any public road, street, or highway, unless the said engine shall have painted in plain and legible letters upon some conspicuous part of the offside the full name and address of the makers of the engine, and in counties and boroughs where provision is made by local bye-laws for the registration of such engines, unless the said engine shall have painted upon i some conspicuous part thereof in plain and legible figures of not less than six inches in length, the registered number of such engine." If the foregoing clauses and subsections be added to the Bill, not only will the regulations be made sufficiently stringent to. secure the public safety without being oppressive as towards the owners of traction engines, but it will become the duty of the police to see that the law is enforced—in itself no mean advantage as compared with the present position of affairs in regard to this matter.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18900722.2.7

Bibliographic details

TRACTION ENGINE TRAFFIC., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2471, 22 July 1890

Word Count
836

TRACTION ENGINE TRAFFIC. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2471, 22 July 1890

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