from the archives of the War On The Motorist

Chris Mosey, discussing the arrival of motor cars in American cities at the turn of the 20th century, in Car Wars p36.

In America too there was initially considerable opposition to the introduction of cars. A New York alderman unsuccessfully proposed a ban on gasoline within the city limits, while Chicago banned people wearing glasses from driving.

Magistrate Kellogg of Yonkers waged his own personal vendetta against motorists with a 'flying squad' of bicycling speed cops. The magazine Automobile Topics wrote: "Encouraged by his petty despotism every village constable in the northern suburb now seems to regard himself as a heaven-sent lawmaker, confident that whatever legal freaks his brain may engender, a ready sponsor will be found on the local bench." Mayor Dennis of Glencoe, Illinois, went one better by stringing steel cables across the main road to stop cars entering his territory. When he was sued and ordered to remove them, he ordered that the road be dug up into artificial bumps.??
In the good old 'no nonsense' tradition of the windy city, police on Chicago's North Shore Drive began opening fire on drivers who ignored their speed traps, and the magazine Motor Age announced that war had been declared.


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