The New Motor-Car Regulations
The Automotor and Horseless Vehicle Journal
November 17, 1896
The Local Government Board have issued the following Regulations to the county councils and certain other local authorities in England and Wales in respect to the use of light locomotives on highways, and their construction, and the conditions under which they may be used, and have directed that the same shall have effect on and after November 14th:—
In this Order:—
The expression "carriage" includes a wagon, cart, or other vehicle.
The expression "horse" includes mule or other beast of draught or burden, and the expression "cattle" includes sheep.
The expression "light locomotive" means a vehicle propelled by mechanical power which is under three tons in weight unladen, and is not used for the purpose of drawing more than one vehicle (such vehicle with its locomotive not exceeding in weight unladen four tons), and is so constructed that no smoke or visible vapour is emitted therefrom except from any temporary or accidental cause.
In calculating for the purposes of this Order the weight of a vehicle unladen, the weight of any water, fuel, or accumulators used for the purpose of propulsion shall not be included.
No person shall cause or permit a light locomotive to be used on any highway, or shall drive or have charge of a light locomotive when so used, unless the conditions hereinafter set forth shall be satisfied, namely:—
(1.) The light locomotive, if it exceeds in weight unladen five hundredweight, shall be capable of being so worked that it may travel either forwards or backwards.
(2.) The light locomotive shall not exceed six and a half feet in width, such width to be measured between its extreme projecting points.
(3.) The tyre of each wheel of the light locomotive shall be smooth, and shall, where the same touches the ground, be flat and of the width following, namely:—
(a) If the weight of the light locomotive unladen exceeds fifteen hundredweight, but does not exceed one ton, not less than two and a half inches;
(b) If such weight exceeds one ton, but does not exceed two tons, not less than three inches;
(c) If such weight exceeds two tons, not less than four inches.
Provided that where a pneumatic tyre, or other tyre of a soft and elastic material is used, the tyre may be round or curved, and there may be upon the same projections or bosses rising above the surface of the tyre if such projections or bosses of the same material as that of the tyre itself, or of some other soft and elastic material. The width of the tyre shall, for the purpose of this proviso, mean the extreme width of the soft and elastic material on the rim of the wheel when not subject to pressure.
(4.) The light locomotive shall have two independent brakes in good working order, and of such efficiency that the application of either to such locomotive shall cause two of its wheels on the same axle to be so held that the wheels shall be effectually prevented from revolving, or shall have the same effect in stopping the light locomotive as if such wheels were so held.
Provided that in the case of a bicycle this Regulation shall apply as if, instead of two wheels on the same axle, one wheel was therein referred to.
(5.) The light locomotive shall be so constructed as to admit of its being at all times under such control as not to cause undue interference with passenger or other traffic on any highway.
(6.) In the case of a light locomotive drawing or constructed to draw another vehicle or constructed or used for the carriage of goods, the name of the owner and the place of his abode or business, and in every such case and in the case of every light locomotive weighing unladen one ton and a half or upwards, the weight of the light locomotive unladen shall be painted in one or more straight lines upon some conspicuous part of the right or off side of the light locomotive in large legible letters in white upon black or black upon white, not less than one inch in height.
(7.) The light locomotive and all the fittings thereof shall be in such a condition as to not cause, or to be likely to cause, danger to any person on the light locomotive or on any highway.
(8.) There shall be in charge of the light locomotive when used on any highway a person competent to control and direct its use and movement.
(9.) The lamp to be carried attached to the light locomotive in pursuance of Section 2 of the Act shall be so constructed and placed as to exhibit, during the period between one hour after sunset and one hour before sunrise, a white light visible within a reasonable distance in the direction towards which the light locomotive is proceeding or is intended to proceed, and to exhibit a red light so visible in the reverse direction. The lamp shall be placed on the extreme right or off side of the light locomotive in such a position as to be free from all obstruction to the light.
Provided that this Regulation shall not extend to any bicycle, tricycle, or other machine to which Section 85 of the Local Government Act, 1888, applies.
No person shall cause or permit a light locomotive to be used on any highway for the purpose of drawing any vehicle, or shall drive or have charge of a light locomotive when used for such purpose, unless the conditions hereinafter set forth shall be satisfied, namely:—
(1.) Regulations (2), (3), (5), and (7), if Article II of this Order shall apply as if the vehicle drawn by the light locomotive was therein referred to, instead of the light locomotive itself, and Regulation (6) of the Article shall apply as if such vehicle were a light locomotive constructed for the carriage of goods.
(2.) The vehicle drawn by the light locomotive, except where the light locomotive travels at a rate not exceeding four miles an hour, shall have a brake in good working order of such efficiency that its application to the vehicle shall cause two of the wheel of the vehicle on the same axle to be so held that the wheels shall be effectually prevented from revolving, or shall have the same effect in stopping the vehicle as if such wheels were held.
(3.) The vehicle drawn by the light locomotive shall, when under the last preceding regulation a brake is required to be attached thereto, carry upon the vehicle a person competent to apply efficiently the brake: Provided that it shall not be necessary to comply with this Regulation if the brakes upon the light locomotive by which the vehicle is drawn are so constructed and arranged that neither of such brakes can be used without bringing into action simultaneously the brake attached to the vehicle drawn, or if the brake of the vehicle drawn can be applied from the light locomotive independently of the brakes of the latter.
Every person driving or in charge of a light locomotive when used on any highway shall comply with the Regulations hereinafter set forth, namely:—
(1.) He shall not drive the light locomotive at any speed greater than is reasonable and proper, having regard to the traffic on the highway, or so as to endanger the life or limb of any person, or to the common danger of passengers.
(2.) He shall not under any circumstances drive the light locomotive at a greater speed than 12 miles an hour. If the weight unladen of the light locomotive is one ton and a half and does not exceed two tons, he shall not drive the same at a greater speed than eight miles an hour, or of such weight exceeds two tons, at a greater speed than five miles an hour.
Provided that whatever may be the weight of the light locomotive, if it is used on any highway to draw any vehicle, he shall not, under any circumstances, drive it at a greater speed than six miles an hour.
Provided also that this Regulation shall only have effect during six months from the date of this Order, and thereafter until We otherwise direct.
(3.) He shall not cause the light locomotive to travel backwards for a greater distance or time than may be requisite for purposes of safety.
(4.) He shall not negligently or wilfully cause any hurt or damage to any person, carriage, horse, or cattle, or to any goods conveyed in any carriage on any highway, or, when on the light locomotive, be in such a position that he cannot have control over the same, or quit the light locomotive without having taken due precautions against its being started in his absence, or allow the light locomotive or a vehicle drawn thereby to stand on such highway so as to cause any unnecessary obstruction thereof.
(5.) He shall when meeting any carriage, horse, or cattle keep the light locomotive on the left or near side of the road, and when passing any carriage, horse, or cattle proceeding in the same direction keep the light locomotive on the right or off side of the same.
(6.) He shall not negligently or wilfully prevent, hinder, or interrupt the free passage of any person, carriage, horse, or cattle on any highway, and shall keep the light locomotive and any vehicle drawn thereby on the left or near side of the road for the purpose of allowing such passage.
(7.) He shall, whenever necessary, by sounding the bell or other instrument required by Section 3 of the Act, give audible and sufficient warning of the approach or position of the light locomotive.
(8.) He shall on the request of any police constable, or of any person having charge of a restive horse, or on any such constable or person putting up his hand as a signal for that purpose, cause the light locomotive to stop and to remain stationary so long as may be reasonably necessary.
If the light locomotive is one to which Regulation (6) of Article II applies, and the particulars required by that Regulation are not duly painted thereon, or if the light locomotive is one to which that Regulation does not apply, the person driving or in charge thereof shall, on the request of any constable, or on the reasonable request of any other person, truly state his name and place of abode, and the name of the owner, and the place of his abode or business.
This Order may be cited as "The Light Locomotives on Highways Order, 1896."
In a letter addressed to the County Councils Sir Hugh Owen, the Secretary of the Local Government Board, draws attention to the provisions of the Locomotives on Highways Act, 1896. He refers to the exemption of light locomotives from certain enactments, and points out that the duties imposed by Section 4 of the Customs and Inland Revenue Act, 1888, will be payable for light locomotives which are carriages or hackney carriages as defined by the Act, and that such light locomotives will pay on and after January 1st next an additional excise duty at the following rate:— £2 2s. if the weight of the locomotive exceeds 1 ton but does not exceed 2 tons unladen, and £3 3s. if the weight exceeds 2 tons unladen. A summary of the above Order issued by the Local Government Board is given, and on the subject of speed Sir Hugh Owen states:—"Section 4 of the Act directs that no light locomotive shall travel along a public highway at a greater speed than 14 miles an hour, or than any less speed that may be prescribed by regulations of the Board. There is considerable difficulty in laying down definite rules as to the speed of light locomotives, at the present time, as no experience has been obtained of their use in this country ; but the Board have been strongly urged to make some general regulations on the subject, and they have dealt with it by Article IV of the Order."
The Carriage of Petroleum.
Sir Matthew White Ridley, the Home Secretary, in issuing the regulations as to petroleum for motor-cars, states:—
In promulgating the following regulations relating to the keeping, conveyance, and use of petroleum in connection with light locomotives, the Secretary of State for the Home Department desires to call public attention to the dangers that may arise from the careless use of those more volatile descriptions of petroleum to which these rules apply, being petroleum to which the Petroleum Act, 1871, applies, and commonly known as "mineral spirit."
Not only is the vapour therefrom, which is given off at ordinary temperature, capable of being easily ignited, but also, when mixed with air, of forming an explosive mixture. Hence the necessity for strict precautions in dealing with and handling the same, and for the enjoyment of thoroughly sound and properly closed vessels to contain the same, the importance of avoiding the use of naked lights in dangerous proximity to the same or to any place where such petroleum may be kept, and generally of taking precautions to prevent contact of the highly inflammable vapour of this very volatile liquid with any form of artificial light.
1. Petroleum shall not be kept, used, or conveyed, except in tanks or cases of metal so made and closed that no leakage, whether liquid or vapour, can take place therefrom, and so substantially constructed as not to be liable, except under circumstances of gross negligence or extraordinary accident to be broken or become defective or insecure in course of conveyance or use ; and every air-inlet in any such tank or case shall be at all times, except when the valve, if any, is required to be removed for immediate use or repair, protected by securely affixed wire gauze, the openings in which shall not be less in number than 400 to the square inch.
2. Every such tank or case shall be clearly stamped or securely labelled with a legible metallic or enamelled label with the words "mineral spirit, highly inflammable, for use with light locomotives."
3. The amount of petroleum to be in any one such tank or case at one time shall not exceed 20 gallons.
4. There shall not be at the same time or in any one light locomotive, more than two of such tanks as aforesaid.
5. Before repairs are done to any such tank or case, that tank or case shall, as far as practicable, be cleaned by the removal of all petroleum and of all dangerous vapours derived from the same.
6. When petroleum for use in, or in connection with any light locomotive is not being so used, it shall be kept either in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Acts, or such tanks or cases as aforesaid ; provided that the amount of petroleum which may be kept in such tanks and cases as aforesaid shall not exceed the amount of petroleum which may be kept on or in any one light locomotive at the same time, and that the tanks and cars shall be kept in the open air, or in some suitably ventilated place.
7. The filling or replenishing of a tank with petroleum shall not be carried on, nor shall the contents of any such tank be exposed by artificial light, except a light of such construction, position, or character as not to be liable to cause danger, and no artificial light shall be brought within dangerous proximity of the place where any tank containing petroleum is being kept.
8. In the case of all petroleum kept or conveyed for the purpose of or in connection with any light locomotive (a) all due precautions shall be taken for the prevention of accidents by fire or explosion, and for the prevention of unauthorized persons having access to any petroleum kept or conveyed, and to the vessels containing or intended to contain, or having actually contained the same ; and (b) every person managing or employed on or in connection with any light locomotive shall abstain from every act whatever which tends to cause fire or explosion, and which is not reasonably necessary, and shall prevent any other person from committing such act.
9. These regulations shall come into operation on the 14th day of November, 1896, and be in force until further notice.
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