Man fined for exceeding 2 mph speed limit

On 30th January 1896, the London Daily News reported that Walter Arnold, being the owner of a horseless carriage, had been summonsed to Tunbridge Police court for exceeding a 2 mph speed limit.

Mr Arnold had been spotted by a police constable who was eating his dinner at the time. The constable gave chase on his pushbike and a five mile low-speed chase across Paddock Wood ensued. The evidence against Mr Arnold was that he was driving at 8 mph. What a maniac!

Mr Cripps, defending, challenged the applicability of the Locomotives Acts to horseless carriages; but it appears that the bench were unimpressed with that submission, nor by the fact that other car drivers had not been prosecuted.  

Mr Arnold was fined for using a locomotive without a horse, having fewer than three persons in charge of the same, exceeding a 2 mph speed limit, and not having his name and address affixed to the carriage. Driving licences did not exist at the time and he therefore escaped endorsement or disqualification.

Walter Arnold later became the first man in Britain to manufacture a petrol engine car.  The Arnold Motor Carriage, which was based on a Benz, was the first car to be manufactured in England and the first in the world with an electric starter motor.