'The History of the Haste-Wagons': *The motor car act (1909) (Vic.), emergent technology and the call for law
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This article is concerned with the relationship between emergent technology and the legal response to it. The focus is on the making of the Motor Car Act 1909 (Vic). It is shown that notwithstanding popular anxieties regarding the new 'motors', the Act did not reflect those concerns through speed limits and restrictions. Instead, the Act established a regulatory scheme that was largely pro-motoring. This dissociation between the community's concerns and the legislation is explained through emphasising other factors influencing the Act. In particular, it is suggested that the notion of progress through technology (legislating for the future) and the ideal of the regulative state (law as technology) went to the essence of the Act. The article concludes by suggesting that these factors are not just historical and particular to the motor vehicle, but can be identified in other legal responses to technological change
Melbourne University Law Review
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