cars – The British Newspaper Archive Blog


London cabbie George Smith arrested for drunk driving in 1897

The first person to be arrested and charged for driving under the influence of alcohol was George Smith, a London cabdriver. Charged with drunk driving on 10 September 1897 This article from the Morning Post reported that at about 00:45 on Friday 10 September 1897, Smith’s vehicle ‘swerved from one side of the road to the other, and ran across the footway into 165 New Bond Street’. George Smith admitted that he’d had ‘two or three glasses of beer’ and

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The World’s First Automatic Road Traffic Signals – Westminster, London, 10 December 1868

What the Victorians did for us… On 10 December 1868, the first set of traffic lights in the world were erected outside the UK’s Houses of Parliament in London. To mark the day, here’s a fascinating newspaper story (published on 8 December 1868) that reports on the installation of the signals, as well as explaining why these new traffic signals were needed.         Start your newspaper journey by registering today


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