Speeding motorist ran over a dog

1913 Police Court

At the Scarborough Police Court, before Mr H Stephenson (presiding), Mr TH Good, and Mr J Hall, Geo. Youngman, 14, Roscoe Street, was summoned for having driven a motor car on Seamer Road at a speed dangerous to the public.

PC Veitch deposed that about 2.45 on Sunday afternoon he noticed a large car coming along Seamer Road at a very dangerous rate, it had run out of one of the side streets. The pace at which the car was going would not have permitted the driver to pull up. As it was the car ran over a dog and killed it. The defendant drove the car about 64 yards, before he pulled up. The driver then came back and witness told him he was driving very dangerously with so many people about, but he said he thought it was nothing out of the ordinary. Witness considered that the car was going between 20 and 30 miles an hour. The defendant did not apply his brakes until he had struck the dog.

Witness, in reply to the Chief Constable, said it was not suggested that there was any danger to anybody after the brakes had been applied.

Mr Edwin Wilson, 4, Harcourt Avenue, said he thought the car was travelling between 20 and 30 miles an hour, going in the direction of Seamer. He estimated it was travelling about three times as fast as it should have done under the circumstances, as the Sunday schools were leaving, and the road was swarming with children. Witness had a bull dog with him, and it was walking across the road when the car ran over it and killed it.

Mr Whitfield suggested to witness that previous to the accident, he had offered to sell the dog for £2 10s; he had since made a claim of £10.

Witness did not deny trying to sell the dog but not at that price. He added that he had been speaking to the constable as to the speed of the car before the accident happened.

Robert Tindall, 21, Rosebury Avenue, Walter Newman, 9, Seamer Street, Tom Haikings, 35, Ewart Street, Henry Harington, Seamer Street, estimated that the speed of the car was between 20 and 30 miles an hour, and corroborated the evidence that the speed was dangerous under the circumstances.

Ernest Fleming, Oakleigh, Bingley, manufacturer, stated that he engaged the car to drive him to Helmsley. Defendant was driving the car when the accident happened.

The defendant had driven them half a dozen times before, and he had always found him extremely careful, and not a man to take any risks. Witness did not consider the car was going at an excessive rate, but between 10 and 12 miles an hour – certainly not more.

Thomas Butterfield, Beech House, Bingley, another occupant of the car stated that there were no children or any other traffic on the roadway at the time.

The defendant, in the box, said he had been a cab driver and motor driver for the past 20 years, and his licence was “spotless and stainless”. He did not notice the dog until he felt the bump.

It was ridiculous to suggest that the car was going at 2o to 30 miles an hour.

The magistrates retired, and on their return the Chairman said that they considered the case had been proved. The bench wished to draw attention of drivers of motorcars to the very excessive speed which was obtained in Scarborough, and they considered that in this case there had not been that discretion used which there should have been at such a dangerous corner, and hoped that the defendant would be more careful in future. They would only inflict the small penalty of 50s, including costs.