Road safety highlights
In classical times, Romans had one way streets, parking laws, crossing places (stepping stones), pavements and possibly roundabouts. There are occasional references to accidents.
In the 1800s road accidents had already been a problem, especially in the fast-growing urban areas of Britain. In 1875 there were 1 589 fatalities, mostly involving a horse conveyance of some kind. This was actually more than in 1910 according to the Annual Road Accident Statistics.
The legislation of the time does contain measures on the proper use of the highway:
The Highway Act of 1835 prohibited riding on a footpath and has regulations on the control and driving of carts and carriages, including a dangerous driving and riding offence.
Drinking while in charge of a carriage, horse or cattle was an offence under the Licensing Act of 1872.
The Locomotive (Red Flag) Act of 1865 allowed for a speed limit of 2,4km in open country and 6,4km in towns.