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5/20/1899

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 11:54 pm
by BuffaloBillsfan
05/20/1899

120 years ago Jacob German was arrested on this day in 1899 for driving at the blistering speed of 12 mph. The speed limit he blasted past? Eight mph between streets, and 4 mph around corners.

He is unlucky enough to be remembered forever as "the first man arrested for running an automobile too fast."

What's so fascinating about German's arrest is how utterly strange it sounds today. His offending speed is what we'd consider an unbearably crawl. He was driving an electric car (taxi service). And he was chased down for speeding by a policeman on bicycle.


I was wondering what the earliest documented speeding ticket was so I googled it, and this is how I came upon the above information.

Re: 5/20/1899

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 12:01 am
by LeftieBiker
I'm curious about how his speed was determined...

Re: 5/20/1899

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 6:13 am
by BuffaloBillsfan
I believe cops today are trained to determine speed (at least ballpark it) without the use of radar. If it takes so long to get from one spot to another then you can figure out that the guy is speeding. I remember the 3 second rule. You look at a fixed spot where the rear bumper of car in front of you passes, then you count the seconds it takes for the front of your vehicle to get to the same spot. If it's less than 3 seconds, then that means you're too close. Something along those lines.

Re: 5/20/1899

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 11:47 am
by LeftieBiker
Maybe the cop counted hitching posts passed in a fixed interval.