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By the superintendent's direction I had 12 signs made allowing 12 spaces on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12 on the south side, to take care of the public vehicle drivers who may want to stand around the Willard Hotel. Well, the signs disappeared. They cost $12 apiece, and I suppose I will have to account for them some day when they are making an inventory of my signs. Those signs were disposed of by somebody, I don't know whom. They were the caretakers of them.
There is no hack stand at the Willard Hotel, nor is there one at the Raleigh, but they have been permitted to stand there—there is no limit to the number—they may all stand there and we don't question them being there for two hours, and do doubt a great many stand there longer than two hours, but we do not raise any question, because we realize that public hacks are an absolute necessity; there would be a terrible condition of affairs in Washington if we did not have public hacks, but we have too many of them.
Now, I would suggest one thing to control public hacks, and that is that no vehicle driver, no public vehicle driver, shall leave his stand unless he is individually hired or unless he is going to leave the vicinity of this particular hack stand. I rather think that would take care of it.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. What is the parking regulation as to fire plugs, Captain ?
Nr. HEADLEY. Five feet either side, from the east curb of Third Street west to the west curb of Fifteenth Street, and 15 feet on the
Mr. ZIHLMAN. That is, you must stand 15 feet away from the plug?
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes, sir. Mr. ZIHLMAN. Are you familiar with that location [indicating photograph]?
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes, sir; that was taken—you can get that a dozen times any day along Pennsylvania Avenue--any day. I have a line at that curb marking 5 feet away from it.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. That is, 5 feet away from that plug?
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes, sir. That is because that is in the middle of the block. There is nothing particularly improper about this, because that can be gotten every time one of these Grey Line cars moves up. There is no question raised about any man standing at a fire plug, provided he doesn't remain there. To take care of this situation, some time ago I had a white line made at 5 feet from the plug, in order that—I didn't know the photograph was being taken, but it was just a precautionary measure, something that I saw ought to be taken care of. I see somebody in the act of getting into an automobile, and you can get that same situation to-morrow, to-day, or any other day.
Mr. ZIHLMAX. You said you were familiar with the parking regulations. What are the parking regulations on Fifteenth Street between Pennsylvania Avenue and New York Avenue?
Mr. HEADLEY. Thirty-five degrees.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. That is, anybody can park on both sides of Fifteenth Street ?
Mr. HEADLEY. Thirty minutes; yes, sir.
Mr. LANHAM. Can you tell from this photograph, viewing it with this perspective, how far that car is from the fire plug? Because that thing is going on daily.
Mr. SHELBY. If it is 5 feet away it is within the regulations.
Mr. HEADLEY. We would not raise the question, sir, because as I said before
A Voice (interposing). It was 2 feet. It stood there two hours. That was taken August 10, and when this mark was made it was after I produced this photograph in a case in court.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. Now, I drive a car, and I never knew you could park on Fifteenth Street except on the Treasury side of the street. For instance, I knew that certain taxicab companies could park in front of the Washington Hotel there.
Mr. HEADLEY. I had in mind between Pennsylvania Avenue on the north and H Street.
Mr. LANHAM. That is where I mean.
Mr. HEADLEY. Between the north end of the Treasury and H Street.
Mr. LANHAM. Well, that is the south end of the Treasury I am speaking of. I mean from the Washington Hotel up.
Mr. HEADLEY. They may park 45 degrees 30 minutes.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. That seems to me to be a remarkable regulation.
Mr. HEADLEY. Oh, yes. Our regulations permitted_45 degrees prior to the installation of the platform. It is from F Street up now, I will say.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. From F Street down—from Pennsylvania Avenue to F Street, what are the regulations?
Mr. HEADLEY. The regulation has never been changed, but I turned them around by autocratic power on the west side of Fifteenth Street, which I started about two weeks ago; the taxicabs that are parked for use at the Washington Hotel, on the west side of the street from a point 15 feet below the west platform-southbound platform—to the road as a way south of the Treasury. But that would ordinarily be 45 degrees.
Mr. ZAHLMAN. Do you allow these Federal taxicabs to use both sides of that street there?
Mr. HEADLEY. Anybody may use the curb. There is no restriction upon anybody about that.
Mr. Zihlman. Anybody can not park in front of the Washington Hotel?
Mr. HEADLEY. Oh, yes; they can. We do not raise any question about them parking in front of the Washington Hotel if they do not stand between the platform and the curb. There is a regulation prohibiting that. Frequently-in fact, most always—there is a car between the north end of the platform and F Street on the east side of Fifteenth Street.
Mr. LANHAM. Well, now, is that parking space there a garage within the meaning of the law, that would permit one of those Federal taxicabs to solicit a fare at that place?
Mr. HEADLEY. If I heard or saw a Federal taxicab or any other livery driver soliciting a fare I would nab him. I wouldn't even let him go tell his boss.
Mr. LANHAM. That would not be, in your judgment, a garage in the meaning of the law?
Mr. HEADLEY. No, sir.
Mr. HYDE. They are only permitted, Congressman, to take guests of the hotel; and only a day or so ago Senator Owen was turned down on the sidewalk in front of the Willard Hotel, at the Fourteenth Street entrance, because he was not a guest of the hotel. He raised an awful fog, but he didn't get any vehicle.
A VOICE. They are not familiar with it, but the practice is going on, and I furnished 20 cases last August, with 100 witnesses, and the warrants for those cases have never been served.
Mr. HEADLEY. Gentlemen, without getting into any argument with anybody, if I could convict certain people of things that I have been told, I would have half—well, I want to qualify that I would have a lot of drivers in the penitentiary-people whom you trust your wives and daughters with for safe transportation from place to place. And I have no quarrel with anybody. All I have in my mind is this particular job I have on hand, sir. I try to render 100 per cent for it. Mr. ZuHlman. Now, have you anything further, Captain?
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes; I want to make one other point. We have thousands of automobiles in Washington to-day that are carrying numbers—tag numbers--from other States. We ought to have a list of all those automobiles. I suppose we have several thousand coming in every day from Maryland and several thousand from Virginia. We ought to know who those people are and where we might put our hands on them if we would want to.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. Can't you get that from the books gotten up by the automobile commissioners of the various States?
Mr. HEADLEY. We don't get them from Virginia. We do get them from Maryland occasionally. I had occasion several days ago to make inquiry about somebody, and I couldn't find it because the books had not been printed. This interests me because of my close association with this particular line of work and the causes that lead us to want to know who these people are.
Mr. Zihlman. This bill provides that the commissioner of motor vehicles shall establish reciprocal relations with other States and promulgate the fact that reciprocal relations have been established, and I would think that you could make, as one of those reciprocal relations, that the commissioner should be furnished with a list of the licenses in that State.
Mr. HEADLEY. Well, if I understand it, sir, we will reciprocate so far as they reciprocate—the States and if they do not require us to register we should not require that State to register. But I have in mind now, sir, a Connecticut automobile by which a little child
was killed on the street-just ground up. I can't tell you the whole story because I have forgotten it, and all we knew was that it was a Connecticut number. Now, if we had a register of Connecticut automobiles in town we would have found that automobile—who that was—if there were 10,000 of them. And I believe it should be absolutely necessary that we should require registration for 24 hours and older at any police station in the District.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. Require what?
Mr. HEADLEY. Registration at any police station, to facilitate matters.
Mr. LANHAM. You mean a car that is going to be here 24 hours? Mr. HEADLEY. Yes.
Mr. LANHAM. How would you ever get notice to people of that law, so that a man coming in from Connecticut or Texas would know that he was required to register?
Mr. HEADLEY. Most everybody that has traveled gets in touch with the three A's, who help us out wonderfully. We cooperate with everybody in the District of Columbia and get the very best results obtainable, and they are good enough to communicate to our office anything they want to do, or any suggestion they have to offer to us, or anything they want in the way of suggestion, and that regulation would be advertised in that way. And we are very considerate in handling out-of-town people. I remember some time ago parking an automobile down in the White House lot. There was one man that drove up with a Texas car and he asked whether he could not stop at a certain place that I had been keeping clear as a safeguard, and I said, “No, sir; you can not stop here. Then seeing that he had a Texas number on his automobile, I said, “Now you came a long ways to see this thing, and I am going to see that you see it. Just back right in here.” Then we got into conversation and I am a curious kind of a fellow and wanted to find out who he was and what he was and how long he had been here, and he happened to be one of our Members of Congress who has gotten a great deal of publicity here of late. That is the spirit that we policemen in Washington exhibit. We want the people of Washington to be proud of us.
Mr. LANHAM. Well, I think this is a very desirable thing, but just from a practical standpoint how could you make it workable?
Mr. HEADLEY. Well, we exchange traffic regulations-I have a whole lot here from other States.
Mr. HYDE. There are about four points anyway where everybody enters the city, the highway bridge, Wisconsin Avenue, and Bladensburg Road.
Mr. HEADLEY. If that should be put into effect it would be my duty to put up signs, and I should have signs erected at the main thoroughfares coming into Washington, in order that we might put our hands on anybody who might commit any kind of depredation. I think we are making a law here now and this will be a fine law, no doubt, and I don't want a single avenue left open for anybody to escape who might violate the law. I want to protect our people and protect the people who come here.
Mr. ZIHLMAN. You can't do anything unless you get a man's nuniber. If you get the number, and if you had a commissioner of motor traffic here he would easily provide himself with a list of licenses of
other States. I do not think you should compel tourists to go to the station house and register. There is a great deal of red tape around the operation of a motor vehicle now. I don't say there is too much. I think there should be some restrictions.
Mr. HEADLEY. The principal States that would be affected would be the State of Maryland and the State of Virginia, because the greatest number of automobiles coming in here come from those States.
Mr. Zihlman. There would be no trouble getting the Maryland licenses?
Mr. HEADLEY. We can get that, sir; but, while it may work a hardship on Maryland people and Virginia people, at the same time it will protect us and protect the people.
Mr. SHELBY. There is very close cooperation between the commissioner in Maryland and the police department of Washington.
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes; I can't say too much for Mr. Baughman, because I know him well and he is a fine gentleman and we play 50-50; I give him a lot of information that is beneficial to him and we just work fine together and there is no thought of putting anybody to any inconvenience. The only thing is to make our streets sa fe.
Now, you want to know something about the record of accidents and arrests and things of that sort ?
Mr. ZIHLMAN. Yes.
Mr. HEADLEY. In 1915 there were 7,615 traffic arrests—arrests made by bicycle, motor cycle, and automobile men. In 1919 there were 16,306 arrests for violation of the traffic laws.
Mr. SHELBY. Those were just by bicycle and motor cycle and automobile men ?
Mr. HEADLEY. These are just traffic cases by those men alone. Of course, the footmen may have arrested people, too. These are just such things as parking in the wrong place, parking by fire plugs, and that sort of thing. This is the report of the major and superintendent to the commissioners, and on page 15 he tells about the decrease in the number of traffic accidents. In 1918 we had 86 deaths and in 1919 we had 76 deaths, a decrease of 11 per cent. Now there are many reasons for that. We have gotten together since we have attempted to have a traffic branch of the police department, and we have all the traffic men, motor cycles, bicycles, automobile men, traffic men, in police headquarters on Sunday afternoon, when the business will permit it, and we talk traffic and we get uniformity, and I think that has helped wonderfully.
Mr. LANHAM. You had 76 deaths in 1919 directly and solely attributable to automobile accidents?
Mr. HEADLEY. Yes, sir; deaths on the street. On page 17 he. makes report of the stealing of automobiles becoming a more serious problem each year with every police department in the United States. The police department in Washington was more fortunate in 1919, having recovered 86 per cent of stolen automobiles. That is where our registration would come in in giving us authority to take in suspicious automobiles, automobiles of suspicious surroundings. We will find stolen cars in that way.