There is a first for everything, including the first car to get a speeding ticket. Apparently Uncle Sams around the world as far back as the 1800s has been using traffic tickets to add to their coffers. This beautiful 1896 Arnold Benz Motor Carriage said to have earned the dubious distinction of the first car in the world to get a speeding ticket. Later this year the car will be heading for the Concours of Elegance at Hampton Palace Court in the England.
Owner and driver of the car, Walter Arnold was minding his business driving it around in Paddock Garden in Kent – way back on January 28, 1896. He must be in a hurry to get home because of cold weather, but a pesky constable on a bicycle caught the lead-footed Arnold. He was going at an estimated 8mph, far exceeding the 2mph speed limit. Arnold complicated the matters by not following another law, which required someone to walk in front of the vehicle waving a red flag. These two traffic violations cost Arnold dearly to the tune of a shilling “plus costs.”
Every action has a reaction someone said. Walter Arnold’s speeding ticket resulted in the UK passing the Locomotives Act that same year. With the new act, they raised the speed limit from 2mph to 14mph and got rid of the red flag waver. Car owners welcomed the new law with a celebratory race named Emancipation Run – they drove from London to Brighton. Young Walter Arnold and his carriage also joined the race.
It took the US three years to issue their first speeding ticket. The culprit in this instance was Jacob German. In 1899, electric car driving 26-year old German received a ticket for going 12mph on an 8mph street. New York law at the time also had a 4mph limit around corners. Like Arnold, he too was caught by a patrolman on a bicycle.
Source: Motor Authority