SUGGESTION TO LICENSE DRIVERS.
The New York Times
January 11, 1900
To the Editor of The New York Times:
You take very good ground in yesterday's editorial on the subect of Fifth Avenue and what, if it be not "reckless," is at least "loose" driving. Would not the former be a very pertinent subject to bring before the Merchants' Association? If the bulk of the owners of our city delivery facilities (who are many of them also interested in the pleasure driving to which Fifth Avenue should mainly be devoted) voluntarily refrain from allowing the former or lesser interest to interfere with the latter, which they are probably long-headed enough to see, is really the greater—when they think of it—then the proposed Guggenheimer law will cause very little opposition or trouble.
As to the danger of putting boys in charge of delivery wagons, you state the case mildly, but I do not think boys are the only offenders. We have a regulation on the subject already, but it is only half effective. Here is a matter that comes home daily to every dweller in the city, yet it is endured, and daily accidents are witnessed and risks run because it is "everbody's business." We compel every owner of a steam boiler and every engineer to take out licenses before one can be used. Yet in every street where there may be no boiler within a mile we turn loose a horde of incompetents to maim, murder, and mangle more people than were ever hurt by boiler accidents. The wonder really is that more are not run down.
Why should there not be some police examination and license as to ordinary intelligence, sobriety, and knowledge as well for drivers as for engineers? Street car companies see to it that their men have some capacity and training because such a policy is to them plainly economical, but the ordinary owner of one or two delivery vehicles, be they carts, wagons, or trucks, seems to consider "any old" man or boy fit to drive, even if fit for nothing else. One need only observe the amelioration of conditions on the Boulevard since the police regulations were made and enforced to say, "Let the good work go further."
DAVID S. BROWN, Jr.
New York, Jan. 8, 1900.
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