First speeding ticket in U.S. written 112 years ago Saturday

Flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror usually precede an unpleasant, even if courteous, interchange with one of our men or women in blue, resulting in a speeding ticket that hits you in the bank account. Hundred thousand speeding tickets daily.

The American who first got one of those traffic citations, on August 27, 1899, didn’t see any flashing cherry-toppers because the constable writing him up was riding a bicycle on Lexington Avenue in New York City.

The policeman collared the driver for proceeding down the boulevard at the breakneck speed of 12 mph, wantonly disregarding the safety of upstanding citizens. He didn’t have to show his license or registration, as the laws requiting such would not be written for another two years.

Today, over a 100,000 speeding tickets for excessive speed are written daily, usually costing the offender about $150 and an increased insurance premium. Over 39,000 people die in automobile collisions annually in the U.S. In nearly 12,000 of these cases, or roughly 30 percent, speeding contributed to the severity of the accident.

Source: U.S Census Bureau

Sign-up to our email newsletter for daily perspectives on car design, trends, events and news, not found elsewhere.

Share this content.


No matter what happened in the past, I personally hate <a href="">traffic tickets</a>, because they tend to be attracted to me whenever I have a really bad day. However, this article has a little humor in it, as the first ticket that was issued, was caused due to the "extreme speed" of 12 mph, which nowadays is a speed one usually tops when riding a bike.