Yes … no joke. We found an article from The Baltimore Sun printed on January 23rd, 1904, mentioning the legal troubles of a man busted for going six miles per hour. Yes, six.
Mr. William A. Schaum, president of the Schaum Automobile and Motor Manufacturing Company, will be arraigned before Justice Fechtig, at the Central Police Station, today on a warrant charging him with running an automobile faster than six miles an hour in Baltimore. The warrant was sworn out by Sergeant Kelly, of the Central district.
Sergeant Kelly said he was at Calvert and Pleasant streets late Thursday night, when an automobile containing seven men went north on Calvert street at a rapid rate of speed. At Pleasant street, he said, the vehicle struck a horse attached to an express wagon and injured the animal severely.
The Sergeant rapped his club on the pavement and Patrolman Robert Busick, Lookingbill, and Charles Jones responded. With these men the Sergeant boarded a St. Paul street car and started in pursuit of the automobile. The Sergeant said he traced the automobile to Mr. Schaum’s stables at 872 Park avenue, where he ascertained the name of the operator of the machine.
How great is this scene? Zipping along at six miles per hour, the cop bangs his club on the ground to summon his colleagues. They hop on a streetcar (!) to chase them. Amazing and quaint. Those were the days!
Now, I’m sure there are plenty of times when you can go no faster than six miles per hour, but that’s due to crappy traffic.
For those interested, here’s an approximate route of the chase, thanks to Google Maps.