Sign showing the road traffic act 1930

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 requirements were introduced for all licences and a special system was created for public service vehicles.

A 1920 road accident

In 1926 Road Accident Great Britain was created to record and monitor national casualties (1930 – 7305 fatalities). Due to the number of deaths controlling traffic became a top priority, In 1932 it was suggested that speedometers should become compulsory.

The government didn’t remove speed limits because of a disregard for safety but because so many people simply disobeyed the rules.

Officers from a 1920 police department

This act repealed the Locomotive and Motor Car Acts respectively. Driving offences were introduced and drivers could now be charged for dangerous, reckless or careless driving and even for 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.

Group of vintage public service vehicles

Public Service Vehicle regulations became centralised and there was an introduction of a 30-mile an hour speed limit for buses and coaches. There was also a limitation on the number of hours a driver could continuously drive before taking breaks.

Old style number plate

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.