Road Traffic Act 1930
The Road Traffic Act 1930 abolished the 20MPH speed limit and set a variety of limits for different classes of vehicle. No limit was set for vehicles carrying less than 7 persons. New licence requirements were introduced for all licences and a special system was created for Public Service Vehicles.
The Road Traffic Act succeeded the last major legislation on road traffic (Motor Car Act 1903) and in 1926 Road Accident Great Britian was created to record and monitor national casualties. In 1930 there were 7305 fatalities and 170,000 injuries due to crashes. The control of traffic on roads became top priority and in 1932 it was suggested that speedometers should become compulsory. The government didn’t remove speed limits because of a disregard for safety but for the fact so many people disobeyed the rules. They were afraid its maintenance brought the law into contempt.
The act repealed the Locomotive and Motor Car Acts respectively. Driving offences were now introduced and you could now be charged for dangerous, reckless and careless driving and driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Third-party insurance was compulsory, the first UK driving tests were for disabled drivers only and the first issue of the Highway Code became available for a penny.
Public Service Vehicle regulations were centralised and there was an introduction of a 30-mile an hour speed limit for buses and coaches. There was also a limitation of hours a driver could continuously drive before taking breaks. This was amended in 1988 and at other times after.
By the mid 1930’s, the two letter / four number series of registration marks were exhausted in some areas, and a new three letter / three number series was introduced. The format stayed this way till the late 1960’s.