Monadnock Moments No. 81: Traffic Regulations of 1914
It was in June of 1914 that the first driving and traffic regulations were enacted in the city of Keene. Automobiles had become so numerous by that time that some rules were needed to regulate the drivers of the vehicles.
There were regulations concerning vehicles in motion, signals, delivering passengers, noise, and smoke nuisance. Drivers were to drive on the right hand side of the road and slow moving traffic was to stay far to the right to allow faster moving vehicles to pass at any time. Before backing up, a driver was to give warning by shouting or signal by raising a hand. Excessive smoke from a vehicle or unnecessary use of the signal horn was illegal.
The penalty for violation of these and other provisions was a fine of not less than $1.00 and no more than $10.00 for each offense. Eight people were arrested for traffic violations during the first three months that the new laws were in effect. These included five arrests for speeding and two arrests for driving while intoxicated. By 1919, five years later, as the number of autos increased, the number of arrests for motor vehicle violations increased dramatically as well. The police report for that year recorded 80 arrests for motor vehicle violations, 67 of those for speeding.