Enactments have been passed regulating the traffic of heavy locomotives on public highways. They must be so constructed as to consume their own smoke; whistles must not be sounded or steam blown off. They must be attended by three or more persons; the drivers must give all possible space for the passage of other traffic, and must stop if so required, by anyone having a horse on the highway. Certain lights must be shown during certain specified hours at night, and the speed must not exceed five miles an hour, or when passing through town or village, three miles.
Other enactments apply to light locomotives, motor cars, etc., not used for drawing more than one other vehicle. No smoke or visible vapour must be emitted, except for temporary or accidental cause. Motor cars and cycles must be fitted with proper contrivances to reduce noise caused by the exhaust. When a car is stationary, the engine must be stopped.
All cars must be registered at the office of the county council or borough council, and the registered mark and number put on two plates affixed at the front and the back of the car, or the back of the vehicle drawn by the car. Motor cycles must also be registered and numbered. Motor car manufacturers and dealers may obtain a general identification mark for use on cars during trial runs.
Every driver of a car must obtain a licence from the council, renewable annually. This may be suspended and the driver disqualified, on conviction for some offence under the Motor Car Acts, other than a first or second offence for exceeding the speed limit. Candidates for licences must give satisfactory proof of normal eyesight or undergo a test. No licence is granted to persons under 17, but 160 a motor cycle licence may be granted to a person over 14.
Every car on a highway must have a bell or other instrument for giving warning of its approach, and between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, it must show two white lights in front, indicating the full width of the car, and also a red rear light. A motor cycle with a sidecar must, during the last mentioned period also show a red light at the rear, and the sidecar as well as the cycle must show a white light in front.
The speed limits have now been abolished except in restricted areas.
There are numerous offences for which, under the Motor Car Acts, penalties are imposed, as using an unregistered car on a highway, or with the numberplates obscured; driving in a condition of intoxication; refusal to produce a licence when required by a policeman; giving a false name and address; failure to stop when ordered by a constable; reckless or negligent driving; causing obstruction, etc.
A police constable may, without a warrant, apprehend a driver who, in the sight of such constable, commits an offence under the Motor Car Acts, if he refuses to give his name and address, or to produce his licence, or if the car has not the proper identification marks.
A useful Rcsumd of the Road Traffic Act, 1930, is contained in Expert Driving and Road Sense, published at 6d. net by Messrs. W. Foulsham & Co., Ltd.
Horse-drawn Vehicles and Pedal Machines.
The laws regulating these vehicles are, with modifications, similar to the above, but no driving licences are required.