Hoon, and You’ll be Fined … Even in the 1840s

Same thing. Different century. And still boys will be boys! These days it’s reckless driving, back then it was reckless riding …

Furious riding and driving are daily witnessed in Sydney to the extreme annoyance and danger of all persons who may happen to be in the street. People, whether drunk or sober, seem equally careless of the consequence to be apprehended from such wanton conduct, and we often wonder that children and others are not more frequently rendered the objects of accidents; For the middle of the streets are seldom empty, and indeed the contempt of danger of those on foot seems quite equal to the absence of caution on the part of riders and drivers. On Monday a youth on horse-back rode at a quick rate, nearly at full speed, through the street, and knocked down a young girl, the mother of a child, with the child in her arms, and occasioned in her very serious injury. A complaint was made at the Police Office, and the offender was committed to the Sessions for the assault.
The Australian Sydney, NSW, 14 February 1827, pg2

Back in the 1840s a law was passed in South Australia to fine those who were “furious riding or driving”. In otherwords, speeding or ‘hooning’ on your horse, as opposed to speeding or ‘hooning’ in a car as it is these days.

Furious Riding or Driving
By the provisions of the New Police Act, furious riding or driving is punishable by a fine of from Two to Ten pounds. It will be seen by our police report that a penalty of the lowest amount was enforced yesterday against a person for galloping in Hindley street. He pleaded ignorance of the Act (an excuse not likely long to be available), which was apparently the occasion of the lenity shewn to him.
South Australian Register, 7 February 1845, pg3
Note:  Some may pick me up for stereotying saying that “boys will be boys”, but seriously look at the articles. Guys are the ones mentioned in the articles on “Furious Riding”. Ok, so I didn’t look at all 6000+ articles that Trove came up with, but I did look at quite a number. While there may well have been some girls too, it was the guys who were mentioned in the newspapers. And we really don’t have to question the current day stereotyping of “hoon drivers” do we? Young males. That’s all that needs to be said.
horse and buggy