Nowadays, that little white sign reading ’45 mph’ is barely more than a blur outside the car window, something we notice in passing. As much as those pesky little speed limit signs may irk us at times, (particularly when we’ve been pulled over), speed limits are an integral part of our society that help keep us safe. The prospect of driving without them is unthinkable. However, there was certainly a time when speed limits didn’t exist, and we have come a long way since then.
The first speed limits in The U.S. were not imposed on motor vehicles, but on wagons and horse-drawn carriages in New York in 1652. The maximum speed limit was ‘no faster than a gallop.’ Similarly in Boston in 1757, it was decreed that no one could drive their horses faster than a walking pace or they would be fined 10 shillings.
The first speed limit imposed on motor vehicles was in the U.K. in 1865, with a whopping limit of 2 mph in cities and 4 mph elsewhere. In addition, it was mandated that all
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