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"REASONABLE SPEED.", NZ Truth, Issue 377, 14 September 1912
Tbe Menac^ of the Motor Hog. It seems painfully apparent to Truth" and everyone, even including the blind organ-grinder at the corner, that that wonderful body known as the Auckland City Council, when 4 it has finished, doing a humble crawl to the Wowsery Council-' of Churches, eftrould'wrajp a wet towel round its' head! swallow three 'large cups of coffee and'' go into the subject of its traffic by-laws. l When Auckland. City Council has noIMng better to do-it 1/ si±s down and makes arfew by-laws -which govern nom particular and harass the people' who -don't need harassing. Crying\ abuses are. left severely alone, and the consequence is much business for ;the coroner. About the largest nuisance m Auckland is that festive stink -machine known- as the motor car.- "Truth" does (not so' much refer to the taxi-cab as ithe (haw) superiah car owned by squattocracy, the Vere-de- Veres and other lineal descendants of J. Caesar (deceased).' and Bill- the Conqueror (also deceased)? Still, there is not much to differentiate the', two! arid they ought both to' be' severely dealt with. They are a worse nuisance than even the fcran*cars, and the Loard knows they are had enough. . The (haw) motah end the thunderous death- dealing tram own tho streets, m Auckland, and the consequence; is that the > average AuckJander is prematurely ageing arid de-x-eloping "neryes , of , a" most , startling or-, «er. ..„' .'■ , ' 'v,; :. . . . !." 1 Get "behind the average Aucklander, ari&T nasally' remark; ♦•Honk! -Honk!?' or suddenly imitate a tramway gong by the skilful use of a defunct beer bottle and the. back-door :;key,, and ahe ■ will take on© extensive jump clean into the nearest pubbery< %■' A sudden .and splashy death Is about the easiest thing to fall across m Auckland. l Easier" to find than last week's accounts or the collar-stud behind the di*ehesse... - • <Mbtor-cars sweep round the corners and over level crossings at any old pace they please, and tram-cars go up and down/ Qtleen- street and other streets' as' if Beelzebub was chasing > tttein. 1 If the average driver coming along- the- street sees a , -pedestrian crosj-dng^lie immediately speeds up /»his emeri-machine or tram-car so as to teaoh^that pedestrian that physical exorcise is, good for him,. and- that "Brief life Is Our Portion," anyway. . A)*d all this- license to a lot of speed, maniacs is due to the fact that the Auckland City Council hasn't had sense/ enough to frame , a, by-law with any degree of common sense about it. "Tne hawker is "kept m his place, tho theatre proprietor is severely dealt with if he overcrowds his house, and the poor newsboy has to part up a license of 2s to enable him to sell papers on the streets, but the haw! motah drivahs and tho tramway troubadours can 'drivo like Shcol when and where they like. A case ; in point came before Maglsttraite Outten last week when, a taxi-cab driver wearing tho aristocratic monniker, of Gordon Hod der was charged with and negligently" driving his car m Queen-street on August 3-6: ■'" • .: Briefly, the facts of bhe case were that Hodder drove his car past a stationary tram car, which was setting down passengers, at a speed of ten miles an hour, and knocked down a small boy, fortunately without injury to tho boy. Defendant admitted that his speed when passing tho stationary tram was ton miles an hour and RECKONED IT IWAS A. REASONABLE SPEED! ■ Tho police alleged that Hodder had driven down the street at a speed of some 30 miles per hour. Amonst tho witnesses for the defence was Inspector Lindsay, the Auckland City Traffic Inspector. After stating that m his opinion Hodder was a careful driver, Mr Lindsay made a
startling announcement that the wonderful city by-laws only provided for a "reasonable speed" m Queen-street fcind other streets—whatever that may mean. Mr Lindsay went on to state that m his opinion eight miles was a reasonable speed for motor-cars m Queenstreet and four miles per hour when passing tram-cars setting down or taking up passengers. r Evidently it doesnt strike the 32---ounce brain of the Auckland Wowsery City Council that way. Bresuma'bly, a "reasonable speed" is the speed which the driver of the (haw!) motah deems "reasonable," arid judging from- his own observations, that reasonable speed is about 25 to 30 miles an hour. Truly a most "reasonable speed" for such a congested street as Queenstreet! \ Now, it-may be interesting for the Auckland City Council to, know that m the cities of I>unedin • and , Christchurch, (haw!) motahs, passing trams setting down or taking, up passengers, are restricted to- a > speed of four miles per hour —otherwise a walking-:pace. In Wellington the (haw!) motah must stop altogether when it approaches a tram setting down or talcing up passengers. ■ ■ , • .- ■ Marvellous as it may seem to the Auckland City Council, these cities have no use for "reasonable speed," because that commodity means unreasonable funerals. They have tried and they know. Therefore, the sooner the Wowsery Auckland City- Council takes that "reasonable speed" clause along to the destructor the better it will be for the 1 community-in general. ' ; The Jist of motor fatalities, due to "reasonaible' speed" recently has -been large enough to terrify even an undertaker. ■■ ■ « •;■■ : At the conclusion of the case, Mr> Cutten, S.M., once more covered himself m glory m announcing that Hodder hadn't been, guilty of "negligent" driving, but still had gone at an "excessive" speed. Therefore the law would severely deal with Gordon by fining him the huge sum of ten'shillings!— and costs, of course. The smiting of small boys and ancient, ladies with the business end of. a (haw) motah evidently is a cheap arid exciting form of sport.
"REASONABLE SPEED.", NZ Truth, Issue 377, 14 September 1912
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