The Motor Car Act 1903
The Motor Car Act 1903 introduced special measures to help identify vehicles and their drivers. All motor vehicles were to be registered, and display registration marks in a prominent position. It was now a legal requirement to display identification on your vehicle whilst driving on a public road.
Parliamentary debates turned into bitter feuds. A controversial argument emerged between Roger Wallace, chairman of the influential Automobile Club, and MP Lord Montagu over laws regarding speed limits. Montagu was in favour to increase limits but took a moderate line of supporting a realistic level of safety. Wallace opposed limits altogether and branded Montagu as a traitor. The secretary of the club publicly proposed a compromise of 25mph without authorisation.
The crime of reckless driving incurred greater penalties, a driving licence was compulsory and awarded to the driver by the council on payment of five shillings. The qualifying age for a car licence was 17 years and for a motor cycle, 14 years.
The Motor Car Act 1903 gave way to County Councils and Borough Councils becoming Registration and Licensing Authorities. It also meant they could govern the local area and raise revenue by implementing speed traps. Between 1903 up until The Road Traffic Act 1930, there was much debate and digression over the way the road network was governed. In 1905 there were recommendations of vehicle taxation's to tackle the deterioration of road surfaces and to fund upkeep and monitoring
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