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The following rules and regulations for traffic in a number of states and larger cities in 1919 were as follows:

All vehicles will keep to the right.

Vehicles meeting will pass on the right.

Vehicles moving slowly must keep near the right curb, allowing those of increased speed to occupy the center of the street.

Vehicles turning into another street to the right will keep to the right.  When to the left continue to the opposite side of the lateral street before changing direction to the left.

Vehicles will not be allowed to stop with the left side of the curb, nor on any street crossing.  When desiring to stop on the left side of the street make a complete circle, bringing the right side of the vehicle to the curb.

If it is desired to change direction to the left at a street intersection where a patrolman is on duty to regulate traffic :  Enter the street you wish to turn into on signal from officer.  Keep to the right so as to allow those following you to pass on your left and proceed.  Watch and listen for signal from officer for traffic to move in the direction you wish to go.  Turn to the left and move forward.

In turning out, stopping or backing up, the following code of signals shall be used:  a.  Hand extended up at an angle of 45 degrees means turning out to the left.  b.  Hand extended horizontally means going to stop.  c.  Hand extended down at an angle of 45 degrees means turning out to the right.  d.  Ample warning should be given before backing up, either visible or audible, so as to avoid injury to other vehicles and pedestrians.

Speeds were regulated according to state.  Some did not have any regulation listed as to speed.  The speed would have applied to motorcycles and to automobiles.  Speed limits were often set in an effort to stop speedy motorists from frightening horses, especially in well peopled areas.  Those that listed a speed limit were as follows:

Alabama “reasonable and proper” not to exceed 30 miles an hour

California “reasonable and proper” not to exceed 30 miles an hour

Connecticut “reasonable and proper” with no maximum

Delaware speed on streets where buildings are less than an average distance apart of 100 feet, one mile in four minutes; at curves and intersections, one mile in eight minutes; where buildings are more than 100 feet apart, one mile in two minutes, 24 seconds; descending steep hills and passing other vehicles, one mile in five minutes:  elsewhere, “reasonable”. 

Florida “reasonable and proper” with maximum of 25 miles an hour; three miles an hour maximum when approaching street car that has stopped or is about to stop; 10 miles an hour when operator’s view of road and traffic is obstructed

Georgia “reasonable and safe” with maximum of 30 miles per hour

Idaho “careful and prudent” with maximum of 30 miles an hour

Illinois “reasonable and proper” with maximum of 25 miles an hour

Indiana “reasonable and prudent” in built up sections 10 miles an hour; towns and villages, residential sections 15 miles; where view is obstructed, 6 miles; elsewhere 25 miles

Iowa “careful and prudent, maximum 25 miles an hour

Kansas “reasonable and proper”, maximum of 40 miles an hour

Kentucky “reasonable and proper”, closely built-up business sections 10 miles; residential sections 15 miles; other 20 miles

Maine “reasonable and proper”, 5 miles an hour when passing places designated with official signs, “Automobiles go slow”; 8 miles an hour when view of road or traffic is obstructed; 25 miles an hour in open country; in compact sections 15 miles an hour provided signs, “Speed Limit, Fifteen Miles” are posted

Mass. “reasonable and proper” in thickly settled districts 15 miles; elsewhere 20 miles; where view is obstructed 8 miles; cities and towns have special regulations

Michigan “reasonable and proper” maximum 25 miles on highways; in built up portions of cities and villages 10 miles; in other portions of cities and villages 15 miles

Montana “careful and prudent”, cities and towns have speed ordinances

Nebraska “reasonable and proper”, max 35 miles an hour

Nevada Cities and towns may pass speed ordinances, but must not set minimum less than 12 miles an hour

New Hampshire “reasonable and proper” thickly settled districts 15 miles; where view is obstructed 10 miles; elsewhere 25 miles

New Jersey One mile in seven minutes upon sharp curves or when turning corners; one mile in four minutes at junction of intersection of prominent cross road in open country; one mile in five minutes in built up sections; one mile in four minutes within 200 feet of a horse; open country 30 miles.

New York “careful and prudent”, maximum 30 miles an hour; New York City has its own speed laws and regulations.

North Carolina “reasonable and proper”

Ohio 8 miles an hour in municipality; 25 miles in other sections of municipality; 25 miles outside a business and closely built up sections in a municipality

Oregon “careful and prudent”, maximum 30 miles an hour

Pennsylvania reasonable with maximum of 25 miles an hour

Rhode Island “reasonable and proper” in built up sections 15 miles an hour; elsewhere 25 miles;

South Dakota “careful and prudent”, maximum 25 miles an hour

Texas “careful and prudent” 10 miles an hour in business districts and cities of more than 40,000 population; 15 miles in smaller cities; elsewhere 25 miles

Utah “reasonable and safe”

Vermont “must not be careless or negligent”; in thickly settled districts 10 miles; elsewhere 25 miles; special regulations posted on dangerous roads

Virginia not greater than 15 miles an hour; cities and towns have own ordinances

West Virginia speed consistent with safety; maximum 35 miles an hour

Wisconsin “reasonable and proper”, 15 miles an hour in corporate cities and villages, elsewhere 25

Wyoming “reasonable and proper”, maximum 25 miles an hour

– Automobile Journal.  July 1919.

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