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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, December 22, 1929, Image 61

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In the Motor World
BY <L ADAMS HOWARD.
ALL indications point to a
boost in prices of automo
biles for 1930. This raise
may not take in all the
various makes, but it is the con
sensus that the majority of manu
facturers will take this action. The
increases may not be great, but
they will be noticeable at least.
The jump is not necessitated by
higher labor or material costs and,
therefore, its cause may not be ap
parent to many prospective buyers
who in latter years have been ac
customed to see annual drop in
prices.
Cause of Price Raise.
The real reason is an economic
one. For years competition in the
automotive field has been great.
For years manufacturers have
gone on with mass production,
cutting down prices here and
there, and because of the great
quantities produced have found it
to be profitable.
Now, mass production necessa
rily does not mean mass selling.
Some manufacturers would have it
appear so. But the difference can
be seen in the monthly reports of
the Department of Commerce. Its
figures are found without favorit
ism or bias.
It is generally known that many
factories have been treating their
dealers in a deplorable way. Deal
ers have been forced to accept cars
that have been impossible to sell in
such quantities. Often when over
stocked with cars, the factories
will turn out a new model, with
shaved prices, and the dealers
have been up against it. The
method is unsound, and the deal
ers suffer for it. Throughout the
country there have been many
failures of the dealers as a result.
Just recently an additional cut
in prices has been announced by
one manufacturer. Those on the
inside know where the cut came
from—it came from the dealer and
was forced upon him by the pro
ducer. It is poor business and one
that is beginning to make itself
felt throughout the entire indus
try. If it were kept up there is no
telling what the result would be.
It is said that there are cars now
selling for actual cost in the Na
tional Capital. What is the dealer
and his sales force to get out of
this? Continuance of the present 1
system, and a system that is
almost universally true, leaves i
nothing but bankruptcy ahead.
Solution Obtained.
A few wise heads got together
recently to find out what can be
done to alleviate the condition. At :
present they have hit upon a solu- :
tion that should afford temporary
relief. That solution is to cut
down on mass production some- i
what, increase the prices of the
coming new makes- and give the i
dealers a better chance. This
may not be done in all the
branches of the industry, but it
does seem that some dealers will \
have a merry Christmas if they j
can struggle past New Year. 1
The dealers should be aided in <
their unfortunate situation. The j
public can pass over the new prices (
by the knowledge that what they f
were paying before was a little too i
cheap.
The Automotive Daily News, a ,
publication devoted entirely to the j
automotive industry, comments •
upon the situation in a recent edi- ,
torial. Leaving out its own in- j
terests, what it states primarily j
is the case. It is as follows: (
“Some months ago the Automo- \
five Daily News printed an edi- j
torial under the title ‘Prices Are ,
Too Low.’ We felt most earnestly j
that the automobile industry has \
been making a mistake in its j
whole method of setting prices for j
Its products. It has been the habit \
of a great many manufacturers \
to fix their production schedules -
on the basis of the maximum out- j
put which they can hope to '
achieve. This procedure led to the ,
bringing of heavy pressure on j
dealers whenever it proved diffi- ,
cult to reach the maximum pro- ,
duction schedule. There was no (
safety factor to care for a possible
difficulty in making the produq«
tion figure that had been set a?
the beginning of the year. We be- \
• lieved then, and still believe, that i
many of the troubles that the in- ]
dustry has had to contend with j
came from this over-optimistic j
method of setting production \
schedules. 1
More Increases Foreseen.
"During the past several days a <
number of manufacturers have
announced price increases. These !
have ranged from $25 up to as
high as $l5O. We look to see a
general marking up of most lines t
before the 1930 season is well 1
under way, and we note the ten- i
dency with a sigh of relief. I
"There is no reason to believe I
that the addition of $25 to the cost i
of the present lines of American i
car manufacturers will drive away i
a single customer who had intend- i
ed to buy. Prices of American
cars are ridiculously low, anyway. <
We venture to assert that no 1
other product that the American i
public buys in quantity gives such .;
Speeding Bus to Be Halted and Driver
Tried, Despite Delay to Passengers
Special Dispatch to The Btar.
BALTIMORE. December 21.—Inter
urban busses that exceed the speed
limit on the Washington boulevard In
the future will be stopped and their
drivers taken before the nearest magis
trate, regardless of the delay caused the
passengers, Col. E. Austin Baughman,
automobile commissioner, announced
last week.
Col. Baughman made his announce
ment following the dismissal of charges
of speeding against five bus drivers on
the grounds of “insufficient identifica
tion” by Justice of the Peace Howard
U. Gosnell at Savage, Md. The five dis
missed were a part of the 16 drivers
summoned since December 4 by Paul M.
Hart and G. E. Davidson, special in
vestigators for the commission. In order
not to delay the busses the investi
gators merely took the number of the
machines and later secured the names
of the drivers from the bus companies
Involved. In announcing his new policy
of instant arrest. Col. Baughman said:
“I have tried to go along with the
bus companies with the idea of causing
least possible delay to the passengers. I
believe that circumstantial evidence is
the strongest evidence. If the records
in the bus dispatchers' office stand, I
feel that we have established the iden
tity of the drivers. We served the sum
. monses on the companies, giving the
bus number and the time and place
a return on the investment as the
motor car. Whether a man in
vests $5OO or $5,000 in a motor car,
he gets the maximum in transpor
tation. He gets the transporta
tion, which is the basis of Ameri
can life as it is lived today. He
cannot get along without this
transportation, because he has or
dered his life in accordance with
the efficiency it gives him.
“If any one thinks that a mod
ern American is going to give up
his needed transportation because
it costs him $525 in 1930 where it
cost him $5OO in 1929, or because
he must pay $2,150 for it this year
where he paid $2,000 last year, he
is badly mistaken.
“On the other hand, an average
increase of $25 per car sold in 1930
gives the manufacturer a factor
of leeway which will obviate his
pressing his dealers. It will give
the dealer a factor that will help
him attack the always difficult
used car problem and it will ac
tually benefit the owner, who must
pay the extra $25 when he comes
to turn in his used car against a
new purchase.”
Word of Comfort.
A word of comfort for the 1930
purchasers of automobiles comes
from those who will handle New
York’s coming show at Grand
Central Palace. It is stated that
the operation costs of the new
models will be considerably lower
than those of former years.
Should this be so, it will in a large
way compensate for the increased
prices.
With the promise of more
power, more cylinders and more
everything, it is rather difficult
to perceive how operation costs
will be reduced. However, ad
vances in mechanical improve
ments may cut down gasoline
consumption and oil uses, as well
as reduce repair costs on wear
and tear. If this be so, “more
power to you” can be said for
the producers as well as to the
buyers.
Let’s hope that the following
press agents’ reports are not too
exaggerated:
“It will not be sad news to visi
tors to learn that the 1930 model,
regardless of size, should cost less
to maintain than its predecessors.
This is not a mere idle surmise,
but the verdict of expert service
engineers, service mechanics, de
signers and parts makers, who,
after careful study of leading 1930
models, offer convincing proof
relative to the many component
parts of a car, as well as its per
formance as a whole. Service ex
perts base their statements upon
the better design, of the units in
the new model and simplicity and
accessibility of those parts likely
to require attention after many
miles of operation.
Upkeep Costs Lower.
“Few car owners realize that
upkeep costs have been declining
for several years past. Labor,
which takes the big slice of the
dollar spent for maintenance,
still gets its share, but with the
development of better shop
equipment and machines, it costs
much less for a service operation
than heretofore. Parts are not
only better quality, but cheaper.
Standardization and interchange
ability of units and parts between
different chassis models of the
same manufacturer have reduced
replacement costs. As an example
of the declining costs of automo
bile upkeep the figures of a prom
inent manufacturer show that re
placement parts costs per car
have declined over 40 per cent in
the past few years. Indicative of
the low cost of maintaining an
automobile in these days are the
figures supplied by a manufac
turer and dealing with the aver
age cost per car for a year in his
service station in a large city.
The figures showed that the 1929
models cost much less for upkeep
than did the 1928 and 1927 mod
els. The figures were compiled
on the cost of these models for
the first 12 months of operation.
Little Service Attention.
“The 1930 enginp will require
the minimum of service atten
tion. Those items making for ex
pense in the older models, such
as inaccessibility of parts requir
ing periodic adjustment and at
tention have been eliminated.
Better carburetion and treatment
of fuels, efficient lubrication with
filters and ventilators spell lower
operating and upkeep costs.
“Better spring suspension and
smoother functioning brakes
mean longer tire life and less
tire service costs. Improved
steering gears and linkage means
less adjustment after much serv
ice. From radiator to rear axle
the aim of the manufacturer has
been to simplify, strengthen and
so design that each and every
unit will need the minimum of
attention. This coupled with the
fact that the average car manu
facturer is spending thousands
of dollars to improve and perfect
his dealers’ service means lower
maintenance cost for the coming
year’s models.”
where it was seen speeding. Prom their
records the companies produced the
drivers’ names.
“Their lawyer raised the question of
insufficient identification. Os course, I
have no intention of telling Justice of
the Peace Gosnell what he shall do.
But in the future the busses will be
stopped. The driver, taken before the
nearest magistrate for purposes of i
identification, will either pay a fine or
post collateral for a further hearing.
“In event of the latter course being
taken, the passengers will be asked to
give their names and will be informed
that they may be called to testify in
the case. This may mean an hour or
so delay to them. In that I have no
further interest. I am going to make
the roads safe for other people.”
—■ •
Engine Best When Hot.
Don’t be alarmed if the water in your
radiator gets very hot. When it is near
the boiling point, your engine is most
efficient. You needn’t do anything
until the water actually boils.
■ ■ ■■■■—- ' • —— ■ -
There are 3.956,138 people now di
rectly employed in the automobile in
dustry, according to the District of
Columbia division of the Amapican Au
tomobile Association.
THE SUNDAY STAR, WASHINGTON, D. C M DECEMBER 22. 192.9—PART FOUR.
DOWN THE ROAD—The Disillusion. —BY FRANK BECK
iscked D fender.
kUi .fej. ,2. £ m fffffl P '
rPPT I ill! fin
CONGRESS SPEEDS
ROAD FINANCING
Wide Range of Support Is
Shown for Federal Aid
Measure.
BY JAMES W. BROOKS,
Director. American Highway Educational
Bureau.
Hearings on the measure introduced
by Representative Dowell of lowa,
chairman of the House committee on
roads, to increase Federal aid for high
construction from $75,000,000 to $125,-
000,000 a year, beginning with 1930.
have been concluded in the regular
course of legislative procedure.
Out of the details Involved came the
significant fact that never before since
modem highway improvement was in
augurated 12 or 13 years ago has there
been given such wide and effective sup
port to this phase of national progress.
No doubt much of the present situation
is due to the leadership of President
Hoover who has urged greater activity
in public work, but for some time past
there has been a growing consciousness
that road building cannot be permitted
to lag without serious loss to the people.
State Officials Help.
Foremost in placing the facts before
Congress as to highway needs in the
various States was the American As
sociation of State Highway Officials, to
whose membership is intrusted the re
sponsibility of getting the work done.
These officials were supported by such
national organizations as the United
States Chamber of Commerce, the Na
tional Manufacturers’ Association, the
American Federation of Labor, the Na
tional Grange, the National Automobile
Chamber of Commerce, the American
Farm Bureau Federation and the Amer
ican Automobile Association. In con
nection with the support given by the
American Farm Bureau Federation, an
interesting bit of highway history was
brought out in the fact that this farm
organization began passing resolutions
for road improvement 40 years ago and
that at each successive Congress sim
ilar resolutions have been presented.
Two points in particular were made
at the hearings, how-ever, that fall
short of the mark. One statement was
to the effect that “the quicker the
United States can complete its system
of transportation, the quicker we will
reach the apex of our prosperity.” So
far as the actual completion of high
way building in the United States is
concerned, this can never be, for, how
ever well the work may be done, there
will still be more to do.
Work to Continue.
With approximately 25,000,000 motor
vehicles already on the road, the ex
tension. widening and rebuilding of
highways must continue with unabated
energy. It is as if some great giant
were feverishly engaged around manu
facturing centers forging new vehicles
for modern transportation and throw
ing them out on the roads red hot. So
long as makers of automobiles keep this
up, there will be a continuing need for
roads.
The second point made at the hear
ings was in regard to the employment
of labor, a very necessary and a very
desirable goal, to be sure, but beyond
that is the matter of holding down
motor vehicle operating costs. As to
labor as a necessary factor in con
tinued prosperity, however, it has been
found upon careful investigation by
State highway departments that in
building roads of whatever type 40 per
cent of the cost goes to labor. The
percentage is even more than that when
the manufacture of materials and other
contributory items are taken into ac
count.
Highway pavement, when laid in
logically connected systems, as State
and Federal highway engineers are now
doing, will clip a penny a mile at least
off of every motorist’s gasoline bill.
With 25,000,000 motor vehicles using
highways at the average rate of 3,000
miles a year each, a penny a mile saved
with pavement is something to think
about.
AIR ENGINE FOR AUTO.
Technical Application Become Sub
ject of Wide Discussion.
Recent widespread news that the
next notable advancement in automo
bile engines would be the development
of an airplane engine for use in motor
cars has attracted the attention of
many leading aviation authorities as
well as automobile engineers. It has
been predicted that such an engine in
a motor car would also be capable of
keeping a modern airplane aloft for
hours.
It is readily admitted that the de
velopment of the airplane engine, es
pecially in the past few years, has
shown greater progress than the auto
mobile engine in the matter of power
and speed development. This being
true, it is logical then to look to the
next advancement of the modern auto
mobile engine as incorporating those
vital structural features which hereto
fore have been almost exclusively em
ployed in airplane power plants.
«Tn A/fwr ’A column in which read*
lVly ers ma y express their
views ,on motoring and
UpiniOtl traffic problems.
Asks Information
In Crossing Dilemna.
Will you or some of your correspond
ents tell a pedestrian just what he's
supposed to do at our light "controlled”
intersections in this hypothetical but
frequently occurring case?
I approach a curb intent upon cross
ing the street. Being a law-abiding pe
destrian and not a jay-walker, I glance
at the lights and find the green disc
glowing for me to cross along with ve
hicular traffic, which at that moment
happens to be moving in my direction.
I step out from the curb and complete
half a dozen steps when the amber light
flashes on. The amber doesn't stay
lighted more than a few seconds, and
by the time it and the green go out in
favor of the red I’m marooned at a
point just over the half-way mark to
the curb I started to reach out.
Cross-traffic starts. Homs, whistles,
"cusses” and hard looks fly at me.
Now—am I to stop dead still, go for
ward, go backward or just evaporate
altogether? In these queries I am as
suming. of course, that I have a right
to walk across the street. But perhaps
that’s presumption instead of assump
tion. What’s say? C. B. D.
! Seconds Recommendation
Os G. B. A.’s Appeal.
Just a few words to second the sug
gestion of G.' B. A. in regard to police
co-operation during operas in Wash
ington. I would like to recommend that
facilities be given those attending con
certs as well.
REINDEER AND SLED DISCARDED
BY SANTA FOR AUTO DELIVERY
BY H. CLIRFORD BROKAW,
Automobile Technical Adviser.
Whatever other effect the automobile
may have had on folklore and fairy
tales, it appears evident that most of
the population of the United States has
substituted the automobile for the rein
deers and sled as the vehicle for Santa
Claus. The youngsters of today can
hardly picture Kris Kringle bringing
toys to them in anything else but an :
automobile, since automobiles are the'
medium for such a large part of the I
present-day transportation.
There is another aspect of the holiday !
season which rather closely. identified
the automobile with Christmas. This
is the popularity of the motor car as
the ideal Christmas present. While au
tomobiles are not especially adapted to
being placed in stockings hung on the '
fireplace or attached to Christmas trees,!
this limitation has been happily over
come by a satisfactory arrangement.
Method of Delivery Given.
The acceptable arrangement consists
in having the car delivered to the home
of the prospective owner either on
Christmas eve or Christmas morning,
where it is left standing either in front
of the house or perhaps in the garage.
Into an appropriate envelope are placed
the keys to the automobile, which will
readily go into the smallest stocking or
can be easily attached to any sized
Christmas tree. Since the automobile is
of no practical value to any one unless
the owner is in possession of the keys
which unlock it and enable one to use
it, these keys very adequately personify
the automobile itself.
Another close relationship between
the automobile and the holiday season
lies in the adaptability of the auto
mobile in transporting the Christmas
presents from the place of purchase to
the homes where they are to be dis
tributed. Os course, many of the de
partment stores and other business
houses doing a large volume of Christ
mas business deliver most of their or
ders by motor vehicles. However, the
project which confronts a good many
people has to do with getting pur
chases from retail stores into the house
without being seeing by the members
of the family for whom they are in
tended. It is at this point that the au
tomobile proves itself an important aid.
Packages can be concealed In various
parts of the car, taken home and left
in the car until they can be safely hid
den in some part of the house.
Auto Useful Christmas.
Perhaps the greatest advantage of
living in an age of motor vehicles as
far as Christmas is concerned lies in
the facility with which, on account of
the automobile, families can be re
united and can enjoy the holiday sea
son together. There are always count
less family reunions every Christmas
and New Year which would be impos
sible if it were not for the automobile.
Nor is the fact that these holidays
come at the cold season of the year
any special deterrent to the use of au
tomobiles. A few years ago many car
owners just naturally jacked their au
tos up for a period of hibernation dur
ing the freezing weather. Now all that
is passe. Cars are run 12 months of
the year and highways are kept open
so that they can run. To travel a
hundred miles for the privilege of en-
Jaying Christmas dinner with relations
or friends is no stunt at all. To travel
500 miles for such a purpose is not
exceptional.
.The automobile Is used to transport
the chicken, turkey and other essen
When a large group of taxpayers are
interested in such events, which are far
too few in the National Capital, and the
; operas and concerts themselves being
somewhat of a civic nature, I think
it would be proper and fitting for the
police to supervise traffic so that con
gestion might be alleviated at the doors
where these events are being held.
I do not think it is asking for special
privileges. Blocks are roped off for
children to play, streets are barred at
times of parades, and there is no com
plaint made.
Why, then, should not the music lov
j ers be given their chance?
A. M. L.
Seeks Holiday Leniency
Among Policemen.
With the holiday spirit at hand would
it not be a pleasant happening if the
police wo ild be a little lenient in en
forcing some of the minor traffic regu
lations. I -efer to parking, and while
I know restrictions are necessary, I do
think it wou<d not cause serious harm
if the police officers would let down a
little during the Christmas buying sea
son.
In other words, instead of ticketing
every car that happens to get itself
parked a little wrong or a little too long
during the shopping rush, wouldn’t it be
better to warn the driver with a smile
not to do so again? A ticket and cross
words take some of the Christmas cheer
away from a shopping tour.
I believe the merchants would agree
with me. a. C. S.
tials from the markets to homes; it
takes people to Christmas services at
churches; it enters into the observ
ance of this holiday in a variety of
ways. It would be unthinkable to ob
serve Christmas in the most enjoyable
fashion in this day and age without
the motor car.
SAFE DRIVING MEANS
CONSIDERING OTHERS
Motorists Urged to Show Regard
for All on
Road.
i .
Safe driving consists not only in con
sidering ones own safety, but that of
others in one's car or in other cars on
the road, says Rudolph Jose, veteran
local motor car dealer. This view of
motoring, points out Mr. Jose, would
be definitely Instrumental in eliminat
ing the great majority of unnecessary
hazards from use of the automobile.
Motoring, it is declared, is in nowise
unsafe, but on the contrary can be at
tended with as great freedom from dan
ger as any form of activity in modern
life. The point is made, however, that
the degree of safety is so largely de
pendent on the human factor that any
automobilist can make his driving safe
if he conscioentiously endeavors to
avoid situations that readily can be
come hazardous.
' Willingness to take chances without
the slightest need for taking them." de
clares Mr. Jose, ‘‘is to be headless of
the safety of others as well. When the
motorist has in his car one or more pas
sengers, it immediately becomes his duty
to show a high regard for their personal
safety. The driver is not free to risk his
own life, for in doing so he risks the
lives of others also, and he does it with
out their knowledge of the danger.
“When a motorist starts for a drive
with other persons in his car, he im
plicity agrees that he will use his best
judgment to protect them.”
IMOTOB POUT'S 1 i
DON’T FAIL TO
CHECK UP ON
THE OILING j
INSPECTIONS OF 1
YOUR MOTOR AND
CHASSIS LUBRICATION
ARE ESSENTIAL ‘
AUTOMOBILE SALES
EXPECTED TO HOLD
Cram Reports Volume of
Business in New Year
Should Be Normal.
No extensive diminution of national
purchase power and normal sales con
ditions in the automobile market are
salient factors evidenced in an analysis
of the dealer outlook for 1930, accord
ing to B. H Cram, president of Cram's
Automotive Reports, Inc.
Past experience and observation pro
vide the ground for predicting the ex
istence of these factors, Mr. Cram de
clares. It is his conviction that the
item of most importance to the dealer
outside of purely local conditions is the
situation relating to the national mar
ket for motor cars in 1930. The coun
try has in the past few weeks under
gone a certain revision in its financial
status. A national panic has been
averted and the resultant changes in
public business, in the opinion of busi
ness leaders, will eventually place the
country on a more sound economic
basis.
Credit Conditions Are Easier.
Probably the greatest advantage that
has been derived from the recent stock
market crash is the reduction in specu
lation, with an accompanying easing of |
credit conditions. Whether the credit •
situation prior to November placed the i
country in a dangerous position is a !
subject that limited space will not per- |
mit Mr. Cram to go into. However, !
real or imaginary,, the easing of money
has gained one important end—namely,
that of removing a threat of stringency
in some parts of the country, particu
larly the agricultural districts. As a
result, 1930 will open with plenty of
money available in all parts of the
United States, and neither agricultural
nor industrial interests will suffer from I
an inadequacy of funds.
This would imply that the basis for
national purchasing power can be con
sidered sound. With the automotive
industry one of the most sensitive lines
of business to purchasing power, the
outlook from that quarter is distinctly
favorable.
Sales to Be Affected Slightly. !
No doubt the stock market collapse, ‘
with its accompanying losses to thou- ,
sands of investors, will affect automo- '
bile sales. However, the cancellations
following the crash were not as numer
ous nor as widespread as early indica
tions led Mr. Cram to believe. No <
doubt the remainder of the Winter will 1
be slow as far as many commodities 1
are concerned, but it is doubtful if this i
condition will be so widespread as to t
materially affect automobile sales. i
To offset any such condition, pur- 1
chasing power in other lines will be i
materially increased. With the inau- t
guration of President Hoover’s pro- s
gram, in which he has been supported t
by many of the companies’ leading ex
ecutives, many lines of business which I
might otherwise be expected to be slow t
d ring the Winter months will be s
stimulated, thus reducing unemploy- 1
ment and providing extensive markets *
for the more basic commodities. t
Optimism is rapidly returning, and 1
it is highly probable that the Winter c
and Spring months will comprise a I
period of economic recovery with all i
lines of business on the upgrade, which *
may be considered as a highly stimu
lating condition.
Normal Volume Is Expected.
Granted, then, that purchasing power j
will not be extensively diminished, it
remains to be seen just what part thel
automotive industry will have in the
national picture for the coming year.
Certainly a normal sales condition can
be expected, and a normal sales con
ciition undoubtedly means a produc
tion of about 5,000,000 motor cars and
trucks. The replacement market will
be as large in 1930 as it was in 1929.
As a matter of fact, the resale market
will probably exceed that of the current
year, due to the growing obsolesence of
the model “T” Ford. This should re
sult in another good year from a sales
standpoint for the manufacturers and
dealers of low-priced cars, and with the
low-priced division of the industry
forming the backbone of the automo
bile business it is possible to see a
pyramiding of demand which will ex
tend into both the medium and high
priced car groups.
In fact, the average automobile
dealer should sell in 1930 approximately
as many cars as he has sold in 1929.
It is possible, however, that because
business in general is going through a
period of recovery the sale of these
cars will not reach the peak of its
volume as early in the year as It has
under more normal conditions. While
the first quarter of the year may pro
ceed rather slowly, automobile sales
should gather momentum as the weeks!
pass: and as has been the case in other
years when similar conditions prevailed,
the secondary peak, coming in the third
quarter of the year, should reach a
favorable height.
.Contracts let for motor buildings in
1928 numbered 7,569 with a valuation
of $149,136,700, according to the Dis
trict of Columbia division of the Amer
ican Automobile Association.
URGES REGULATION OF SPEED
IN TRAFFIC AND ON OPEN ROAD
National Committees Suggest Adoption
of System for Measurement of Hazards.
Discusses Liability of Motor Drivers.
Some system by which speed in traffic
and upon the open road can be placed
in the proper category for regulation—
a system which would use speed as a
measurement of hazard, as an ampli
fication, in its increasing form, of the
liability of the motor driver who trans
gresses, but which would also permit
of more expeditious moving of traffic
over the streets and highways of the
Nation—is the goal of a special techni
cal subcommittee named by the na
tional committee for uniform traffic
regulations which met here last week.
Another study, the results of which
may be of tremendous importance to
the motor drivers of the country, was
the proposal referred to this same com
mittee that the Hoover code be so
changed as to recognize a right-of-way
rule exactly opposite that in general
observance throughout the country.
Right-of-Way Problem.
Proponents of the principle of grant
ing the driver on.the left. Instead of
the driver on the right, the right of
way, offered the proposition as a means
of eliminating street intersection jams
which occur when a motorist approach
ing a street on which there is a heavy
flow of traffic exercises his right-of
way prerogative to get into the center
of the intersection and there finds him
self blocking the street and unable to
go farther because of the contirfuous
stream of traffic with right of way
against him.
Under the "right of way on the left”
rule, it was argued the motorist cannot
get into the street intersection until
the way is clear, but once in. he can use
his right of way. once he gets to the
center of the intersection, to break
through the opposing stream of traffic.
Composed of some of the best traffic
minds in the country, this subcommit
tee of the body, which is working for
uniform traffic regulation throughout
the country, at the behest of President
Hoover, has before it for consideration
a radical new theory for dealing with
speed in motor traffic along with a
number of minor contemplated changes
In the so-called Hoover code for uniform
traffic regulation and the model munic
ipal traffic ordinance.
Methods Held Unsatisfactory.
That the methods of cities And States
of regulating speed upon the open roads
and in the cities are merely stopgaps,
highly unsatisfactory, and in some cases
positively dangerous, was the consensus
of the experts attending the session
of the Hoover committee here last week
and much discussion was held on the
subject, with the result that the techni
cal committee was named to thresh out
this matter and report back its recom
mendations, if any, relative to the
changing in the uniform code of the
suggested limit of 35 miles an hour on
the open road.
The discussion was precipitated by
Dr. H. C. Dickinson of the Bureau of
Standards, who moved that the clause
suggesting a limit of 35 miles an hour
on the open road be eliminated from
the uniform code and that no substi
tute be offered in its place. He pro
pounded the view that speed limits are
arbitrary things at best and that the
only way to really regulate speed is to
properly define rights of way and there
by establish blame for accidents upon
the violators of the right-of-way rules.
Another suggestion was made that
the open road limit be raised to 50
miles an hour. No action was taken
upon either suggestion. Dr. Miller Mc-
Clintock, director of the Albert Russel
Erskine bureau of street traffic re
search at Harvard University, who was
presiding over the meeting, was urged
i
I -
j Business Activities Show Gain
With Improvements to Highways
I
j With every highway Improvement,
! there Is a noticeable Increase in travel
I by automobile over that highway, ac
! cording to H. H. Franklin, president In
the automotive industry, whose recent
investigation of traffic conditions took
him over 20,000 miles of all kinds of
roads in 14 different States.
Mr. Franklin, who uses an automo
bile in all of his business trips, states
that he travels on schedule, requires
no transfers, and experiences no walt-
I ing nor delays due to uncertainty of
weather. Over routes covered most fre
quently he operates between his home
and hotel in considerably less time than
train service will permit.
“More improved roads make it pos
sible for people to enjoy the conven
ience of traveling by automobile and
serve to call their attention to their
own possibilities for greater productiv
ity,” Mr. Franklin stated. "The auto
mobile provides the quickest and most
satisfactory kind of service for ordinary
distances when elapsed time from start
to destination is considered.
“Some people may think that the use
of automobiles has reached the peak,
but this is a fallacy. With the right
kinds of roads, more and more people
will motor for long distances: In fact,
use their cars more in every way. Good
roads are all that are needed to make
the automobile recognized as the ideal
means of transportation for all dis
tances. A good road should permit
speeds of 100 miles or more an hour
with safety over long distances.
“While it is necessary to consider
present traffic in building roads, the
most Important thing is to build them j
so that increased traffic can be cared
for.” Mr. Franklin said. "Roads
should be so useful and practical that
the many instead of the few will use ,
them for general travel. The number
of automobiles now traveling over any :
particular section of a main highway
is no indication of what the traffic
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by members of the committee to state
his views on speed and its regulation.
"Speed,” said Dr. McClintock, "is an
anomalous quantity in motor traffic.
One might say that it was responsible
for all danger in automobile driving,
because if there were no speed, no mo
tion, there would be no contact and
thereby no casualty. At the same time
speed, per se, cannot be blamed for any
accidents. A perfect driver, in a per
fect car, on a perfect road, naturally,
can go at any speed he desires without
accident. Good drivers -in this country
frequently travel at 80 or even 90 miles
over the highways in perfect safety.
"Therefore, I believe that we have to
approach this speed question from an
entirely different angle. I believe there
should be some scale of determination
of the Increasing hazard as speed in
creases. That speed should be regarded
not as a hazard Itself, but rather as
an amplification of the hazard.”
Dr. McClintock declared he did not
think speed should be thought of or
regulated in terms of miles per hour or
any other measurement, but should be
used itself as a measurement of the
liability of the driver who is using the
Dr. McClintock's suggestion the
whole matter, including the recom
mendation for removal of the speed
limit of vehicles on the open road and
the proposal that it be raised to 50
miles an hour, was referred to the tech
nical committee.
The speed question is by far the most
important before the technical com
mittee and one for which the members
are girding their loins for work in
earnest
Dr. McClintock Presides.
The technical committee was organ
ized immediately following the meeting
of the general committee and Dr. Mc-
Clintock was chosen as chairman.
It was tentatively agreed that it would
meet the latter part of January, at a
city convenient for the greater number
of the members. New York. Chicago or
Los Angeles. In the meantime the
members are to draft their opinions on
the speed and right-of-way questions
and a number of minor considerations
before them, and send them to the com
mittee’s secretary not later than Jan
uary 4, so that they can be correlated
into a general summary of views of the
members and threshed out at the meet
ing later in the month.
Several meetings of the technical
committee will be held, it is announced,
before the next meeting of the general
committee here in the Spring.
Committee Personnel.
Members of the committee are:
Dr. McClintock, C. W. Stark of the
Chamber of Commerce of the United
States; William Butler, general counsel
for the United States Casualty Co.; W.
W. Cloud, president of the Yellow Cab
Co.; J. Allen Davis of the Automobile
Club of Southern California, a repre
sentative of the American Automobile
Association to be later designated; Ben
jamin G. Eynon, commissioner of motor
vehicles of Pennsylvania: D. C. Fenner,
truck manufacturer; J. M. Fried, presi
dent of the Chamber of Commerce of
Vicksburg. Miss.: Edward W. James,
chief of the division of designs, Bureau
of Public Roads; Burton W. Marsh,
Pennsylvania State traffic engineer; Jo
seph G. Myers, attorney; A. H. Rudd,
chief signal engineer Pennsylvania Rail
road: Frank Seydel. counsel for the
National Board of Fire Underwriters;
Hawley S. Simpson of the American
Electric Railway Association; Sidney J.
Williams, director of the traffic safety
division of the National Safety Council,
and Thomas G. Young, motor dealer of
Baltimore.
really would be under more ideal con
ditions. A through highway should
provide speed and safety facilities along
its entire length.
"This cannot be unless the road is
of ample width, preferably with par
alleled one-way courses, projected in as
near a straight line as possible and
routed around towns and villagis rather
than through them.
"Road engineers attempting only to
build roads that will meet today's re
quirements fall far short of that aim
and fail utterly in providing highways
that will answer the purpose of a few
years to come. This means building
over the roads shortly after they are
completed at an added expense to the
taxpayers who pay the bill.”
Mr. Franklin believes that the next
few years will see automobiles capable
of maintaining speeds in excess of
100 miles an hour traveling over super
highways that extend entirely across the
continent.
HIT-AND-RUN DECREASE.
Baltimore Safety Director Marks
Change in Ten-Month Period.
Special Dispatch to The Star.
BALTIMORE, December 14.—A slight
decrease in automobile operators who
fled after accidents, as well as in the
number of persons killed and injured in
that type of accident, is reported for
the first 10 months of 1929, compared
with the same period last year, in a
statement from J. P. Rostmeyer, direc
tor of the Baltimore Safety Council.
From January 1 to October 31 this
vear, Mr. Rostmeyer said, drivers fled in
546 accidents, in 141 of which 3
persons were killed and 156 injured.
During the same period last year there
were 675 such accidents, in 189 of which
14 persons were killed and 198 injured.
5

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