1905 Dyckman Speedtrap


Every summer the local newspapers and 311 lines are filled with complaints of daredevil racers tearing down Dyckman Street in hot-rods and atop motorbikes.

But if you think the phenomenon is new—-think again.

25Oct1905 Harpers Weekly

Inwood historical guru Don Rice discovered this priceless treasure while flipping though a 1905 edition of Harper’s Weekly.  25Oct1905 Harpers WeeklyThe accompanying article describes a speed-trap ordered by then Police Commissioner William McAdoo.

According to the Harper’s article:

Police Commissioner McAdoo’s determination to check the reckless driving of motor-cars on New York’s highways has resulted in the establishment of a measured course in the Kingsbridge section of the city, with a police-signal station at each end.

25Oct1905 Harpers Weekly

The stations are connected by telephone with substations along the line at which the time of fast automobiles is taken.

25Oct1905 Harpers Weekly

Bicycle-squad policemen are on duty, some of them mounted on fast motor-cycles, and when a motor-car driver is discovered to be exceeding the speed limit word is telephoned to the signal station towards which he is rushing, and arrest follows.”

Again, a special thanks to Don Rice for uncovering this little  Inwood gem.


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