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Just seven years later, in 1916, there were 2.25 million.

Politicians, police and judges debated how to control them: What was the law of the road, and who was guilty or innocent in cases of lawsuit and litigation?

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People accustomed to strolling the streets in the horse age often had problems judging the speed of automobiles. Couzens campaigned to stop jaywalking to reduce accidents. Police officer Reyniear Staats talks about traffic safety to Nichols Elementary students.

James Couzens was the key figure who brought order to Detroit's streets, enacting many new traffic management and safety ideas, first as commissioner of street railways, later as police commissioner, then mayor. Sometimes teachers or police officers would read to school classes the names of children killed by autos and how they died.

the law relating to the duty of owners of such animals is to be applied ... However, they are not to be classed with bad dogs, vicious bulls, evil disposed mules, and the like."In 1917, Detroit and its suburbs had 65,000 cars on the road, resulting in 7,171 accidents and 168 fatalities. Detroit differed from New York City and the east coast, where most automobiles were driven by uniformed chauffeurs hired by the wealthy.

In Detroit everyone from nearly all incomes was driving.

Our current method of making a left turn was not known, and drinking-and-driving was not considered a serious crime. A driver training bulletin called "Sportsmanlike Driving" had to explain velocity and centrifugal force and why when drivers took corners at high speed their cars skidded or sometimes "turned turtle" (flipped over). Ten Are Hurt"An automobile containing a bridal couple, several wedding guests, three children, and many bottles of liquor rounded the corner from Labelle Avenue onto Woodward Sunday evening and turned turtle going at least 40 miles an hour." - Detroit Free Press, June 29, 1914Early vehicles were terrifyingly loud for horses and their owners, compounding the problem as their numbers grew quickly.

Statistics kept by the nascent Automobile Club of America recorded that in 1909 there were 200,000 motorized vehicles in the United States.

One young woman was detained by a policeman after driving on a Detroit sidewalk and killing several people. Disembarking streetcar riders had to run a gauntlet of racing cars, trucks, motorcycles and horse-drawn buggies to cross the street safely.

Pedestrians often could not judge how close a fast-approaching car was to them and scrambled like squirrels to get out of the way.

At first speeding vehicles were not a big problem, with only a few of them on Detroit streets, but the situation grew serious quickly.

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