On This Day …

Thursday 30th August, 1906

A driving licence. This is something most of us attempt to obtain in our late teens and most of us succeed. These days there are cars everywhere. Our roads are congested with them. But, back in 1904 is was only just decided that people should have a licence to drive one of these metallic contraptions that zoomed around the streets, and the Motor Traffic Regulation Act was put in place, with the first licence being issued in South Australia in 1906, to William Hargreaves.

Cars had been a part of Australian society since 1897, a bit behind on the world stage, but not too far behind. (In 1888 the first driver’s licence had already been issued to Karl Benz in Mannheim, who built the first car in 1885.) But, with growing numbers of vehicles on the roads, rules and regulations for the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike were needed. South Australia was the first state in Australia to step out on this.

I can imagine how proud Mr Hargreaves must have been, driving about in his motor car, with a freshly printed licence in his pocket. So, if anyone resistant to change might challenge him about driving his noisy contraption around town, he could produce it with a grin, and prove he had permission from the government.

Do you remember gaining your driver’s licence? I’d love to hear your stories.

Published in: on 31st August, 2012 at 10:22 am  Leave a Comment  
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