1926 Daily Colonist Article About Driver License Suspensions

While doing some research we came across this article, Forfeiting [Drivers] License Inculcates Care, in a February 1926 edition of the Daily Colonist [now the Times-Colonist]

1926 article in the Daily Colonist about Driver License Suspensions
1926 article in the Daily Colonist about Driver License Suspensions

Here is the text of the article:


Fear of Being Deprived of Privilege Induces Carefulness, Investigation Shows

Chicago, Feb. 27, – Fear of losing their licenses makes automobile drivers more careful. This declaration was made today by S.J. Williams, director, public safety division, National Safety Council, after a study of reports received from more than ninety American cities. In those states where operators of motor vehicles do not have to obtain licenses the drivers are not as careful as in places where they not only have to pass an examination, but face revocation of the permits if convicted of recklessness.   [Emphasis added]

“The National Safety Council believes that every state in the Union should have real applications for automobile license applicants and should revoke the driving privileges of motorists convicted of operating a car while intoxicated, of taking a human life while driving, upon being convicted of a felony, upon being found physically or mentally incapable of operating a machine and for other good causes,” declared Mr. Williams. “The state should impress upon its citizens that driving is a privilege which is likely to be cancelled if abused.

“Suspension of automobile licenses is also a good step. A motorist is taught a good lesson when he is deprived of the right to drive for thirty, sixty, ninety days or more. Reports from our affiliated safety councils throughout the country show that accidents have decreased in places where licenses have been suspended or revoked and where it is not too easy to get a permit to operate a car. Publication of the names and addresses of persons whose licenses have been called in also has a good moral effect on the community in question. [Note: in December 2018 there was media coverage of an Ontario police department, York Regional,  publishing the names of impaired drivers]

“Once drivers learn that they must submit to control, or sooner or later pay the penalty, we shall see a gradual but substantial decrease in the number of automobile accidents, which last year [1925]  took 21,000 precious lives.”

We also liked the second story in the photo. It’s about traffic police in Berlin being provided with electric foot warmers and the elevated octagonal stands they stood on to direct traffic being used for advertising.

“Traffic Policemen

In the belief that traffic policemen will be more affable and polite with their pedal extremities [i.e. their feet] heated, safety islands in the middle of busy streets in Berlin, Germany, will be equipped with electric foot warmers.  Another new fixture of the so called “islands”, which are octagonal in shape, will be paid advertisements on their eight sides, which will be illuminated at night.”


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