Booked for Speeding by a Constable on a Bicycle – How Times Have Changed!

January 28, 1896

The first known speeding infraction that involved a motor vehicle took place in the village of Paddock Wood in southeastern England. Walter Arnold of the nearby village of East Peckham was caught driving a Benz automobile at eight miles (13 kilometers) per hour in a two-mile (3.2-kilometer)-per-hour zone. A constable riding a bicycle gave chase to the errant Arnold for about five miles (8.1 kilometers) before finally catching up with him.

A couple of days later, Arnold was found guilty by a local magistrate and fined 10 shillings specifically for his speeding antics. He had to pay additional fines for using a vehicle without a horse on a public road, allowing the vehicle to be operated by fewer than three people, and neglecting to clearly display his name and address on the vehicle.

Arnold’s unprecedented speeding citation occurred more than three years before the first such traffic violation in the United States. That violation resulted in the arrest of Jacob German after he drove a taxicab at 12 miles (19.3 kilometers) per hour down a street in New York City.

For more information on Walter Arnold’s first-of-a-kind speeding infraction, please check out

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: