Laws against driving a velocipede on a walkway (1869)

In consequence of the many complaints which have been made of the annoyance and obstruction caused by persons driving velocipedes on the pavement, a general order has been issued to the Metropolitan police calling attention to the 5 and 6 William IV., cap. 50, sec 72 which makes it unlawful to drive a carriage of any description on any footpath or causeway. Let any person who may think that the Chief Commissioner of Police is looking up the law unnecessarily read an account given in the Court Journal last week of a scene which took place on the road between Todmorden and Bacup. A gentleman was observed descending a declivity at a terrific pace, to the extreme danger of pedestrians, on a velocipede which had become utterly uncontrollable. He was uttering the most heartrending shrieks of “Police,” “Fire,” “Stop me,” until, fortunately perhaps for himself as well as others, both he and the vehicle rolled in the mud. When will velocipedestrians learn that a large majority of the inhabitants of this planet are quite satisfied with the ordinary means of locomotion and that walking, although a vulgar exercise, has the merit of inflicting the least possible injury on our neighbours and ourselves?

The Pall Mall Gazette, May 8, 1869

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