US’ First-Ever Speeding Infraction Issued to Electric Vehicle in 1899
History is history. It can’t be altered. It is what it is and will always remain that way.
So, when you dig deep through the archived past, you’ll discover that the US’ first-ever “speeding infraction” was issued, not to a fuel-burning automobile, but a lowly electric vehicle.
Yes, that’s right. The so-called slow and boring electric vehicle will forever be the first automobile to be “ticketed” for speeding.
On May 20, 1899 a New York City taxi driver by the name of Jacob German put the pedal down on Lexington Street in Manhattan. German promptly reached a blistering speed of 12 mph. At the time of the event, the speed limit was claimed to be 8 mph on straights and 4 mph through turns. Vehicles in those days weren’t really capable of safely handling speeds over 10 mph, or so we’re told.
German’s blistering pace was matched by a NYC police officer who immediately tracked down the law-breaking German. The officer pedaled his bicycle at a rapid rate as he caught up to and then overtook German. The speeding German was arrested and imprisoned for his actions, though never ticketed as that wasn’t how the law worked in those bygone days.
- According to the US Census Bureau, an estimated 100,000 people per day are cited for speeding in the United States.
But German will always remain the US’ first.