Here's an example of how government seeks to regulate every bit of our lives. If you're driving your horse and buggy home and it gets dark on the way, why should you need to attach a light? Your horse knows the way home.
All vehicles must be equipped with suitable lights
Published on May 10, 1917
By The Prosser Republican-Bulletin
Only a few weeks more and then every vehicle that travels the highways, be it driven by the faithful plodding horse, or hurled madly through space by the irresistible force of electric power, will announce its presence on the road by a good substantial, plainly visible light, whether it be going or whether it be coming.
For, one of the first little laws, passed by the 1917 legislature in its infinite wisdom, compels all vehicles drawn by animals to display at least one lighted lamp after the hours of darkness, so fixed as to be visible from front or rear.
Never miss a local story.
Section I of Chap. 40, Laws of 1917 reads as follows:
"Every vehicle drawn or propelled by horses, mules, or other animal power shall, when driven on any public road, highway, park, parkway, street or avenue, within this state during the hours of darkness, have fixed or carried thereon in some conspicuous place on the left side of the vehicle at least one lighted lamp so fixed or carried that the light therefrom may be seen both from the front and rear of said vehicle."
Such a requirement has been exacted of the automobile ever since it has been subjected to regulations. The danger of such machines running over somebody or something was recognized right from the start and so proper precaution was taken of lessening such chances.
It has taken years, however, to understand that there is just as much danger from a vehicle driven by animal force, both to itself and occupants, and others, as there is from the motor vehicle.
Secretary of State, I. M. Howell, in commenting on the bill says: "Just how many accidents may have occurred in the past from this cause would be difficult to estimate at this time, but it is certain that they have been numerous. No matter, however, how may there have been there will be fewer in the future, and so people traveling at night time, in horse carriages or in motor vehicles, may now feel the comfort of being relieved of the strain of endeavoring to avoid running into a wagon traveling at a snail's pace, and will escape the thrill of narrowly escaping a collision with one unhitched for the night actually blocking one side of the highway."