The C.M.U.A. Annual Report.
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The annual report of the Commercial Motor Users Association, for the year 1913, has been placed befell'e the members ; itwill, by the time this issue is in the hands of our readers, have been adopted at the annual general meeting of the Association. We have decided, by reason of the considerable length of iIhe report, not to publish it, but we have obtained a certain number -of copies from the C.M.U.A. Secretary, and these are held at the dis• posal, free of charge, of any readers who care to make written application for a copy direct to the Editor. Much of its contents refer to matters with which we have dealt ; therefore, having regard to the fact that THE COMMERCIAL MOTOR is supplied to pra.ctically every member of the C.M.U.A., as part return for his annual subscription of one guinea, we think it desirable to save the space now, and to avoid repetition, whilst at the same time providing for new supporters in the above-mentioned way. The report is, of course, one which calls for review, and we proceed to deal with its contents that way. The Commercial Motor Users Association is now a little more than 10 years -old, and the report draws attention to the necessity which has asserted itself for additional office accommodation ; this has been obtained at 83, Pail Mall, S.W., next door to the R.A.C. It is pointed out, however, that committee and general meetings will, as heretofore, be held in the committee room of the The work of the North and East Lancashire, of the West Riding, and of the MarcThester, Liverpool and Counties branches is acknowledged in the opening paragraph of the report. Reference is next made to the Parliamentary and legislation work of the Association, and to opposition by it to applications for prohibition Orders in respect of certain roads, which subdivisions of the report bring one to the all-important subject of legal defence.
Considerable lists are given of difficulties, both usual and unusual, in which members of the Association have been involved during the year. Free advice. for examples bas been given on a number of eases, of which the following are typical : nuisance alleged to be caused by vibration of heavy motorcars ; the right of a Council to close a highway to commercial-motor eb ides ; the necessity for local licences for motor chars-a-banes ; liability incurred in taking water from a street hydrant ; liability for damage caused to a lamp-post by a heavy motorcar ; liability for damage to property caused by sparks from a steam wagon ; recovery of damages to a motor lorry from falling into an excavation in the road ; necessity for having a licence for ears used by travellers ; depreciation on taxicabs for income-tax purposes ; claim for extraordinary traffic ; use of bridges bearing notices prohibiting thepassage of heavy motorcars ; the licensing of heavy motorcars to enable them to be used on a private road.
Under the combined legal defence, schemes, sonic hundreds of summonses 'have been defended. and 12 typical examples of successes have been chosen fin. inclusion in the report, thus : driving vehicle without having full view -of the road (Gillingham) ; obstrue• tion of the highway (London); exceeding the speed limit of 5 m.p.h (Preston); not giving audible warn• ing of approach (Highgate); not having a numberplate (Brentford); driving to the danger of the nubile (Southampton); steersman not having licence (Leeds): having motor in coerlition dangerous to the public (Durham); leaving lorry unattended (Kingston); not having proper lights on vehicle (Pontypridd); non-illumination of the number-plate (Chesterfield); weight of trailer not painted on the side of the trailer (Camberley).
Experience during the past 12 months has enabled the Association. acting in consultation with the Legal Committee of the R.A.C., to simplify the regulations n11
under which both free and unlimited legal defence are provided by the Association, and we observe with much interest that the Association will now assist its members to obtain the services of expert solicitors at special fees, when those members merely desire to be represented at their own expense, in respect of an admitted offence, in order to put forward points in mitigation. It is evident that the legal-defence organization of the Association, with its considerable membership, coupled with its close association with the Royal Automobile Club, enables it to offer advantages which are regarded with great favour amongst owners. These benefits require only to he moie widely known to be more generally taken up. The report proceeds to review the following matters: the use of steam-wagon engines as brakes ; the success of the Seventh Annual Parade ; the arrangements for the Parade on Whit-Monday, 1st June, 1914; the development of the Association's scheme for night shelters, and the publication of the first edition of the C.M.U.A. Night Shelter Handbook ; the inauguration of a schemeof lectures to drivers ; the formation of adrivers' division of the Association ; the representation of the Association at various roads and traffic conferences ; the preparation of a C.M.U.A. standard insurance policy ; investigation and tests in respect of low-priced reflecting miners of adequate field ; special terms for members at a leading London hotel ; and the Wider use of C.M.T.T.A. badges (tor vehicles, drivers and members). We desire to direct particular attention to the successful inauguration of the Association's night-shelter scheme. Every owner know how important it is to have suitable roadside facilities, both in respect of supplies and of aceonunodation for vehicle and man. Initial achievements in this direction are recorded in the first edition of the Night Shelter Handbook, copies of which can be obtained from the Association at Is. each, post free, and are mentioned in the report. This first handbook deals with the following nine main roads: (I) London to Margate ; (2) London to Folkestone; (3) London to Portsmouth : (4) London to Bournemouth ; (5) London to Bath. Bristol and Weston-super-Mare ; (6) London to Gloucester ; (7) London to Shrewsbury, Liverpool, Manchester and Lancashire towns; (8) London to Derby and Nottingham ; (9) London to Newcastle-on-Tyne and branches. Enamelled signs have already been supplied to many of these depots, and it is possible to communicate orders to drivers at all of them, either by telegraph or telephcne. As the report states, much general information of value to drivers is given in this handbook, and we can, especially as we bore a share in it compilation, seriously commend it to the attention of all who have not yet obtained a copy.
A footnote to the renort is in the following terms: " It is expressly hoped that each member will mark the first year of the Association's second decade by obtaining the accession of at least one new member. The probability of early highway and other legislation should alone be a sufficientreason for new support." People who respond to this request will, we feel sure, never have ocsasion to regret it-. No association in the country gives better value to its members. This is indeed shown by the expenditure, from an income of for the year 191.3, of all but £49 open those benefits and services.
• We hone that many hundreds of our new readers, Nvlio have only bought Tar COMMYRCIAL MOTOR since the last C.M.U.A. report was issued, will join the Associstion. It will enable them, incidentally, to rely upon the reeeipt of this journal by first Postal delivery each Thursday morning, subject to their signing the necessary instruction to that effect, as part of their apnlicrition.
Finally, Mr. F. G. Bristow. the Secretary, deserves to he congratulated on the results of his labours.