Road Safety History 1905 - 1921

LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 0844 414 1982

Please note that we only deal with personal injury compensation claims and we do not provide advice on motoring offences.




Guidelines on Traffic Signs. - Hollow white ring (speed limit); solid red disc (prohibition); hollow red triangle (caution); diamond (other).
The Hon. Charles Rolls designs and road tests his new car, a two cylinder 20mph machine.
There are 28,842 vehicles registered in Great Britain and there are calls for motor accident insurance claim cover to be made complusory.

1905 The Automobile Association was formed.
Vauxhall commences car production at its new Luton plant.


(6 April) Model T Motor Car launched using moving production line system.
First AA patrols go on duty on bicycles. Their primary duty was to warn motorists of police speed traps ahead.
Automobile Club receives Royal patronage to become The Royal Automobile Club.


The Finance Act 1908 levied a tax of 3d on a gallon of petrol.
Model T Ford production begins in USA.
Rolls Royce factory opens in Derby.


The Finance Act 1909-10 based vehicle taxation on the horsepower of the vehicle and stated that the revenue would be used for road improvements.
Petrol Duty introduced at 3d (1.5p) per gallon bringing the total cost to 1s.9p (8.75p) per gallon.

1910 The Road Board was set up to administer grants paid to local authorities for road improvements. It's functions were taken over by the new Ministry of Transport in 1918.
Road Fund Licences introduced. Charges were £2-10 for vehicles up to 6.5hp and £42 for 60hp.


Model T Ford production comes to Britain (Manchester) using mass production methods.


Morris produces a car to rival the Model T Ford. The Morris Oxford, a 1 litre, 2 seater priced at £175.
Roadside telephone boxes introduced by the Automobile Association.


Petrol pumps introduced. Previously fuel was only available in cans.

1916 The London "Safety First" Council is formed. It was involved in a whole range of road safety initiatives and was consulted by the government committees. In 1941 it changed it's name to RoSPA. There is now increased demand for motor accident insurance claim cover to be made compulsory.


Ministry of Transport set up. (Replacing The Road Board.)
Tax on petrol abolished but higher rates of excise duty were introduced.


The Roads Act 1920 required Councils to register all vehicles at the time of licensing and to allocate a separate number to each vehicle.

1921 Car Tax (Road Fund Licence) set at £1 per hp. Petrol Tax abolished.
Tax Discs introduced.
Registration Documents (Logbooks) introduced for British cars.

LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 0844 414 1982