Police Speed Trap 1908

“According to Mr Harold Cox, MP, the Automobile Association Scout depicted in our illustration, whose arrival has spoilt the trap set by the stop-watched and notebooked constable, is the active accomplice of those who openly boast of breaking the laws of their country…”

In March 1905 Mr. Walter Gibbons wrote to Autocar magazine proposing the formation of a Motorists’ Association for the Prevention of Police Traps. Two other motorists replied saying that the Brighton Road was already patrolled by cyclists to warn motorists of police traps. Bear in mind that there was much antagonism from the Police towards cyclists as well as motorists.

After the Automobile Association was founded, AA cyclist scouts would stake out speed traps, on the roads of Sussex in particular, and would salute you to warn you of police activity ahead.

The speed limit in 1908 was 20mph. It was widely ignored and in 1930 it was abolished. Speaking in 1932, Lord Buckmaster said, “the existing speed limit was so universally disobeyed that its maintenance brought the law into contempt”.

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