Where Was the First Speeding Ticket Issued?

There is some uncertainty over exactly when the first speeding citation occurred, but the first recorded written speeding ticket was issued in the United States. In 1904, Harry Myers was ticketed for traveling at a speed of 12 mph (19 km/h) on West Third Street in Dayton, Ohio. Although law enforcement officers had arrested drivers for moving violations dating to the horse-and-buggy days, the strategy of issuing paper citations did not emerge until after the invention of the automobile.

More facts about speeding tickets:

  • The first speeding ticket issued by a motorcycle policeman occurred in the state of New York. Officer Willie Seamon issued the ticket to Charles R. Jones of Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y. Seamon was riding his Indian twin motorcycle when he noticed Jones going through the city at a speed of 39 mph (62.76 kph). Seamon stopped the vehicle and issued the ticket.

  • The earliest known speeding violation in the United Kingdom came in 1896, when Walter Arnold was charged with traveling at a speed of 8 mph (12.87 km/h) in an area with a 2-mph (3.22 km/h) limit.

  • In 1899, Jacob German of New York was arrested for speeding. German, a taxi driver, was charged with going 12 mph (19.31 kph). It is uncertain whether an actual ticket was issued or German was simply taken to the nearest police station.

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How did they measure the speed back then?

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