DRIVERS' AND STEERSMEN'S LIeENCES.
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At the Guildhall (Police Summons Court), before Alderman Sir Horace Brooks Marshall, on Friday, 28th May, Frank Bristow appeared to two summonses, one for 'driving a motor, he being unlicenced, and the second for driving the same .whilst occupying such a position as prevented him having a clear and -uninterrupted view of the traffic abreast and on either side of. him. Mr. John Meredith, his employer, of Vernon House, Tiverton-on-Avon, was summoned for employing an unlicensed driver.
Mr. Parkes, who appeared to defend, stated that on his advice both Mr. Meredith and his man would plead guilty, in respect of the licence. Bristow was emPloyed as a steersman, and the police, in some parts of the country, did not require a steersman to be licensed. He, Mr. Parkes, did not think it could be held that a -man steering was not driving, and he knew the view that court took on the matter. In regard to the other matter Bristow pleaded not guilty.
Pialice constable Buckland deposed that on. the morning of the 9th May he saw defendant Bristow
driving a heavy steam wagon Mansion 'Houe Street. He was seated on the near side of the cabin. Witness Pointed out tti him that his front View was obstructed by the funnel arid cylinder pipe-, and that his offside view was blocked by the than who was standing up, in charge of the controlling levers. He was asked if he had a licence for driving, he replied : "No, it is my duty to. 'steer. I did riot kneii that I required a licence.' .
By Mr. C. F. Morickton-(clerk): Bristow was sit
ting on a low seat at the extreme near side of the cabin—his left leg was outside the cabin. Mr. Parkes handed photographs to the Bench and remarked there were thousands of these about ; the War Office had commandeered a large number.
Mr. Monckton remarked that in a similar case before the court the magistrate was informed that the proper position for the man at the wheel was standing, and an undertaking had been given that for the future this position should be rigidly adhered to. Mr. Brassington, manager of the Eastern Motor Wagon Co., said the man who steered was under the control of the driver. They were now making their drivers steer and work controls. The proper position of the driver was sitting.
Sir Horace : According to this picture a than sitting could have no proper view of the traffic. Mr. Parkes contended that though these two men, both held to be drivers, in charge of the engine, might not individually have a proper view of the traffic, collectively they did. Mr. Monekton remarked that the by-law required every driver to have an uninterrupted view of the traffic, and "when we have all got time to think of other things besides the war," perhaps alterations will be made. In the meantime when firms do all they can, the police recognize the difficulties. Sir Horace said, in respect to the licence, he believed there had been misapprehension—the driver must pay £1, the master £2. On the other summons Bristow would have to pay 22.