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MOTOR CAR MORALS.

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

MOTOR CAR MORALS.

The New York Times
July 12, 1907


Experience is beginning to teach us that the motor car, as it comes more and more into common daily use, must exert a beneficient influence on public morals.  A motorist inclined to a fast life is sure to learn, sooner or later, that the speed of the car will be enough for him to manage at one time.  Other forms of rapidity he will learn to avoid in his motoring hours, and by and by, perhaps, the exhilaration of motoring will be all he requires.

The motor car is inexorable, and on a strange road uncertain.  Rapid motorists have learned to their cost that when it comes a cropper it leaves things in such a state that all the world must presently know all about them.  There have been tragic accidents connected with motoring quite lately that have revealed more of the sad comedy of human life than the most rapid and careless man would care to have revealed in that way.  This sort of thing cannot go on.  Motorists will learn in the way we have indicated.

One who sets out upon a strange road, or even over a familiar one, in the dark, needs a clear head, a clear conscience, and fit companions.  Even with all these the car may be found wrecked by the roadside and its occupants dead or dying.  When all is well at the start this result is sufficiently deplorable; in the other case the horror is deepened and coupled with a sort of grotesqueness that may make the demons laugh.

The real dangers of motoring of the right sort are not, after all, so great, and they will decrease as the motoring skill and experience increase, but they will always be great enough to make the wise motorist circumspect.



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