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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
April 4, 1914

Charges for "Spotting" and Trackage Opposed—Bill to Regulate Motor Cyclists.

Automobile manufacturers have taken a stand against any change in freight rates which would discriminate against motor cars.  Opposition to such a change developed at the recent meeting of the Board of Directors of the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce here, following an report of the Traffic Committee of that body is which the statement is made that if the suggestion now before the Interstate Commerce Commission is adopted, the railroads will charge automobile manufacturers for "spotting," or placing cars on factory sidings, and, in addition, trackage charges will be assessed on automobile shipments which are not promptly accepted by the consignee.

The chamber has vigorously opposed a new rule suggested by the Official Classification Committee, which would prevent combining trucks with passenger machines in making up carload shipments to dealers.  At the meeting, over which Charles Clifton presided, it was decided to have the chamber report at the argument on dunnage allowances before the commission in Washington on April 16.

While the proposed charge for spotting is intended to cover all commodities, it is believed that the railroads contemplate a special charge for trackage on motor car shipments because the freight cars used for shipments of this kind are mainly of the forty-foot type with centre doors.  At the same meeting the plans for a national touring week were favorably discussed and a definite date in June will probably be set after a further conference with the Touring Board of the American Automobile Association.  Those present at the meeting in addition to Mr. Clifton were Windsor T. White, Hugh Chalmers, I. H. Kittredge, Wilfred C. Leland, H. H. Rice, W. E. Metzger, S. T. Davis, Jr., H. O. Smith, and Alfred Reeves.


Motor cyclists will soon have to file a description of their machines, including the name of the maker, factory number, and horse power, and pay a fee of $1, if a bill now awaiting the approval of Gov. Glynn becomes law, according to a statement issued last night by Mitchell May, Secretary of State.  The bill provides that every motor cycle operated on public highways shall display a number tag.  A speed limit of fifteen miles an hour is set for "built-up" sections and one of thirty miles an hour outside of cities and villages.  In case of accident motor cyclists must give their name and address at the request of the person injured.  Every machine must be equipped with a brake, bell and horn, must display a white light in front and a red light at the rear, the white rays of which must illuminate the number plate.  The bill prohibits carrying a passenger on the tank or handle bars, and open mufflers are forbidden except in sandy roads and on heavy grades.  Violations of the provisions are declared misdemeanors, punishable by fines of not less than $10, $25,  and $150, respectively, for first, second, or subsequent offense, while for a third violation imprisonment for not more than 30 days may be substituted or added.  The measure has the backing if the American Federation of Motor Cyclists.


Statistics compiled at the close of the Boston show are in the possession of one of the local dealers, indicating that if the manufacturers exhibiting twenty-six were exclusive makers of four-cylinder cars, seventeen exclusive makers of six-cylinder cars, and twenty-five manufacturers of both types.


One of the local agencies is to throw open its show rooms every evening for a week beginning on Tuesday, to show moving pictures of one of the three makes of cars which it represents in action during last Summer's transcontinental tour of the Indianapolis manufacturers.

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