On August 28, 1904, the nation’s first jail sentence for speeding in an automobile was handed down in Newport, RI.
Judge Darius Baker imposed the offender to a sentence of five days for traveling at 15 miles per hour.
A jail term was especially harsh because automobile traffic laws were still new. Although laws against galloping horses and speeding carriages had been on the books in America since 1678, the first automobile traffic code wasn’t implemented until 1903.
Editor’s Note – Some sources report the sentence could have been on August 27th, 1904.
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