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THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA
Published Weekly by the
University of North Caro
lina for the University Ex
JULY 25, 1928
CHAPEL HILL, N. C.
THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS
VOL. XIV, No. 37
Editorial Board, E. C. Branaon. S. H. Hobba. Jr.. P. W. Wager. L. R. Hllaon. E. W. Knight. D. D. Carroll. H. W. Odnm.
Entered aa second-claaa matter November 14. 1914, at the Postoffice at Chapel Hill. N. C., ander the act of Aasmst E4, 13IH1,
A TERRIFIC TOLL
Last year 22,000 people were killed
in automobile accidents on the high
ways of this country. Many of
these people, probably most of them,
were innocent of recklessness or daring
on their own part, victims of another’s
recklessness or criminality. This ter- >
rific toll of lives is wicked and unneces
The American people are not going
to give up their automobiles; they can-i
not if they wished to. Life has been |
reorganized in terms of the automobile !
—though not in one particular. We
have not limited their use to those who
can be trusted with them. We no
longer permit anybody and everybody
to go arqaed. We have taken guns
away from the intoxicated, the neu
rotic, the criminal. An automobile is
also a deadly weapon—the court has so
declared it. Its use should be limited
to those who are normal, sober, and
law-abiding. Yes, even more than
that—those who are free from any
charge of being reckless or incon
siderate. Careful drivers, -respectful
of the rights of others, ought not to
have to share the roads with drunken
and dare-devil drivers. The time has
come when the right to drive a car
should be restricted to those who can
be depended upon to kzooperate in mak
ing the highways safe.
This means that a driver’s license
should be granted only after the ap
plicant has passed a thorough driving
test. It means, too, that a license
once granted should be revoked if any
complaint is brought that the operator
has driven a car while under the in
fluence of liquor or has driven in a wild
and reckless manner. Finally, no li
cense should be granted in the first
place to persons having a criminal rec
ord. To grant one is to arm a criminal
with a deadly weapon. Who are the
hit-and-run drivers? Are they people
with reputations for honesty and
moderation in other respects? Cer
tainly not. They are people with
criminal records or at least criminal
tendencies. Who ajre the road hogs?
They are not people who are generous
and fair and cooperative under all other
situations. All of which means that
the persons who are causing the ac
cidents on the roads are to a large ex
tent persons of whom such things might
be expected. Many of the 511 lives
lost on the highways of North Carolina
last year could have been spared if we
had refused to license the vicious and
There are dangerous drivers, how
ever, who are neither mean nor in
temperate. They are those who lack the
steadiness of nerve, keenness of vision,
and quick response necessary to make
good drivers. These should be content
to ride with others at the wheel.
North Carolina’s record last year
was a little better than for the pre
vious year. It was one of seven states
to decrease—though ever so slightly—
the toll of lives taken by automobile
accidents. Everybody in the state
ought to cooperate in the effort to
bring down the figure for the current
Nobody intends or desires to kill
another person. He has 'a horror of
doing 90, Yet the failure to keep
brakes tightened or headlights ad
justed Tnay produce this unfortunate
result. Again, the failure to report one
who violates the traffic ordinances,
which are no more than the rules of
fair play, may be to contribute to the
death of a neighbor’s child. When it
is no longer popular to dilate on the
speed records which one has made or the
narrow escapes which be has bad, there
will be fewer accidents. Only a fool
jeopardizes the life of his friend, and
if men, otherwise sensible, play the
fool, their friends should not hesitate
• 0 remind them of their folly. —
drinking driver leads
Mention has been made of the ap
parent increase in the number of per
sona who stimulate themselves and go
joy riding—of, the apparent increase in
the number of such persons arrested,
which is a clear indication that there
»re more of them, for it stands to
reason that some of them escape, do
not come under the eye of officers.
The legislature of 1927 passed an act
requiring convictions for traffic viola-
tmns to be reported to the state high-!
way commission. In these days when
laws are so carelessly observed general
ly, it is a reasonable assumption that
not all are reported. But the highway
commission has made public reports
for the year ending June 30. The total
number of convictions reported was,
2,476. That, it may be assumed, is
only a small part of the violations.
But the drinking drivers led all the
rest. There were 775 of this'^class,
nearly one-third of the total. In this:
class were 626 whites and 260 negroes. ;
Speeding was next in the list of of-'
fences, there being 769 of these. Reck- j
less drivers convicted numbered 444,
and convictions ‘for miscellaneous of-,
fences were 345. Eleven white men:
and three negroes were convicted of >
manslaughter as a result of fatalities
in automobile wrecks, 38 were con
victed of assault with a deadly weapon
— a car—and 91 were convicted of driv
ing with faulty headlights. This last
may surprise people in this territory,
where driving with any sort of head
light, or with none, seems permissible;
or at least nothing is done about it.
It would be interesting to know the
average penalty imposed on the 776
drinking drivers. The guess here is,
judging by court reports, that a fine of
?60, the minimum allowed under the
law, would predominate. In some
cases, no doubt, the minimum was
ignored and judgment suspended. In
at least one case coming under our notice
a superior court judge did just that.
The traffic laws provide an automatic
jail sentence in case of repetition.
But some of the legislators, possibly
having a fellow feeling for the drink
er, put through another act fixing the
minimum penalty at $60. Seeing that
so many of the judges usually impose
the minimum it is presumed that they
do not think the offence calls for a jail
The reckless driver is a menace on
the highway, the drinking driver is a
terror. He combines a half-dozen or
so offences in one —violations of the
liquor law, reckless driving and all the
rest. But if one is to judge by the
punishment imposed in the average
case he is the pet of the judiciary.—
Indian travois and canoe, ox cart,
pack horse, Conestoga wagon, stage
coach, canal barge, steamboat,
steam railroad, electric railway,
mottir vehicle, airplane-these words
spell the progress of transportation
In a* nation composed of many
states, each sovereign in its own
sphere, extendingjOver a vast conti
nent with sectional interests con
flicting at times, 'diversity of
climate, extremes in topography,
and differing economic interests,
no other instrumentality has so
served to preserve and maintain its
political unity as its transportation
system.—John J. Escb, former
Interstate Commerce Commis-
Germany own, said he. And as fcr the
farmers, he went on to say, I’ll
guarantee that not a dozen farmers
own cars in the whole of Germany.
All of which is food for reflection.
The simple fact is that apparently
everybody in North Carolina has money
enough to buy what he wants.
But all of us are poor as Job’s
turkey when the tax collector comes
around. And most of us have to borrow
money to pay taxes—farmers, teachers
and business people alike.
When it comes to motor cars, we are
rich enough to pay $46,000,000 a year
for gas alone, to ^say nothing about
some millions more for oil and grease,
many millions more for tires and tubes,
and still more millions for repairs and
1 never yet have seen a woman so
poor that she didn’t have money to buy
a bonnet if she really wanted it. Or
a man so rich that he did not feel
almighty poverty-stricken in the tax-
paying season. —E. C. B.
TAXES AND GASOLINE
The gasoline consumed in North
Carolina during the year ending June
30 cost the car owners $46,886,000, in
round numbers. If used in a single
average car this amount of gasoline
would send it around the earth 114,000
times. So runs the item in the state
dailies of July 7th.
It cost more to run our cars than it
does to run our public schools, our
teacher training schools, our state
colleges, and our university all put
together-more by twelve million
dollars a year.
It cost more to run our cars than it
does to -run our county governments—
more by eleven million dollars a year.
It cost more to run our cars than it
does to run our state government—
nearly twice as much.
All of which means that we are a rich
people, almost unbelievably rich.
When I told the Baron von der Lippe
in 1924 at the Castle Kngelberg in
Germany that we had five times as
many cars in the little state of North
Carolina as in the whole of Germany,
he threw up his hands in amazement.
Impossible! said he.
When I told him that brick masons,
carpenters, tinners, plumbers, electri
cians, painters, plasterers and rough
hands parked eleven cars ^iaily around
the house I built just before I left
horhe, he threw up his hands. Impos
sible! said he.
When 1 told him that the farmers
who furnished my milk and butter-
milk, my poultry, eggs and vegetables,
delivered these pantry supplies at my^
door in cars of their own, again he-
threw up his hands in amazement.
Impossible! said he.
When I told him that ihe farmers of
North Carolina owned around 100,000
cars his hands went up in amazement
once’ more. That’s nearly twice as
many cars as the rich people of ail
BEAUTIFY THE HIGHWAYS
Highway beautification in North
Carolina may be undertaken in the
future by the state on a comprehen
sive scale under plans considered
by Gov. A. W. McLean and approved
by the Board of Conservation and
Development at its meeting at Raleigh
recently. ' j
Governor McLean pointed out to the
board that with the development of the
great highway system of the state
there is a well defined call for increas
ing the attractiveness of these arteries
of travel, and he expressed a belief
that such a program should be launched
He expressed a belief that the high
way commission would be glad to lend
its cooperation and assistance to spch
a move and that the logical way in
which it should be carried out would
be by the cooperation of the two state
agencies. He declared that it is his
purpose to include such a recommenda
tion in his message to the incoming
general assembly in order that full
authority might be given for the pro
posed beautification program.
The chief executive complimented
highly the impetus that has been given
to highway ‘tree planting and beauti
fication by various organizations in the
state, especially the women’s clubs,
which have been interested for some
time in this work. His desire is to see
such a program earned forward on a
permanent basis, planned on a state
wide scale, and with full legal author
ity. His plans were given the en
thusiastic approval of the conservation
board, of which he is chairman.—
A SPLENDID RECORD
The record made by Sheriff 0. A.
Glover in collecting taxes in Wilson
county during the last year and in the
last five years, has been especially
commended by Governor A. W.
]y[(jL0an. He has written Sheriff
Glover a letter of commendation, which
reads as follows:
‘Tam very much pleased to see in
the papers that when you made your
settlement of tax collections with the
Wilson county board of commissioners
last week for 1927 taxes, out of more
than $700,000 charged against you, you
had collected and turned over to the
commissioners all except about one-
fourth of one percent of the entire
amount. I note also that over a period
of five years you have collected about
99.76 percent of the gross amount of
taxes due in your county.
“This record is so fine that I feel you
are entitled to the plaudits not only of
the people of Wilson county, who are
directly interested, but of all the people
of North Carolina, who are or should
be deeply interested in efficient results
shown in the administration of county
“It would be a fine thing if all the
counties in North Carolina could show
such good results.
“The remedy for the local tax burden
does not lie in the collection of taxes
due from some of the taxpayers and
neglecting to collect from others. The
real remedy lies in the method you have
pursued of collecting the taxes due
from all taxpayers alike.
“As I stated in an article appearing
in the papers today, there are many
counties in which the taxes are too
high, but the real remedy is to reduce
the tax rates as they apply to all tax
payers, not in requiring some to pay
promptly and permitting others to
“Again I congratulate you on your
fine record in collecting taxes in your
county. I hope your example will
encourage sheriffs and tax collectors in
other counties of Nortlf Carolina to do
SAVE THE FLOWERS
“From the mountains to the sea—
North Carolina, the beautiful,’’is the
appeal of the Aberdeen Kiwanis Club
in a special circular letter recently
sent out in an effort to start a move
ment to protect the shrubs and flowers
along our highways.
The circular truthfully declares that
“Every day hundreds of careless folks
cut down and destroy thousands of
trees, shrubs, and flowers along the
highways of our state. Little pines,
rhododendron bushes, dogwood bushe.s,
and other things given by nature to
beautify the countrysides and the road
sides are destroyed wantonly.’’
The Aberdeen club calls on the
newspapers of the state to help by
giving publicity to the cause and to try
to instill in Tar Heels a love of the
Our wild flowers and flowering shrulis
are among our greatest natural assets,
but the ruthless way in which they are
being destroyed does not indicate that
they are appreciated.—Morganton
FARMLAND TAXES IN ORANGE
Thirty-five thousand acres of Orange
county farm lands were advertised to
be sold for taxes on June 11, 1928.
Twenty-seven thousand of these
acres were taxed at an 'average of less
than fifty cents an acre.
Sixteen thousand of these acres were
taxed at an average of less than thirty
cents an acre. *
The taxes on more than 25,000 of
these acres could have been paid with
a half bushel of cojn per acre, or with
two pounds of cotton or two pounds of
tobacco of good grade.
The taxes on 5,0C0 of these acres
coiild have been paid with two gallons
of corn per acre, or less than one pqund
of cotton or tobacco of good grade.
One first-class cross-tie an acre would
pay the taxes on each of these 30,000
acres, with a margin left over to pay
for the cutting.
These extracts from a term paper by
Roy M. Brown, a graduate student at
the IJniversit/ of North Carolina,
throw a flood of light on the burden of
taxes on farm lands in Orange county,
N. C.-E. C. B.
MORE COUNTY LIBRARIES
“How many county libraries are
there? Is the number growing?’’ were
questions often asked at the library
exhibit at the National Country Life
Conference at the Uniyersity of Il
linois. There were 260 in June. 1928,
seven of them having been established
in May and June, 17 in the year ending
April 30, 1928. They are to be found
in 34 states and in eyery section of the
United States except New England,
where the town is the library unit.
California leads with 46 county li
braries (out of 68 counties); New Jer
sey has 9 county libraries with only 21
counties, and Indiana and North Caro
lina each has 14.
The seven newest county libraries are;
Monroe County, Bloomington, In
Kenton County, Covington, Ken
Tompkins County, Ithaca, New York;
Davidson County, Lexington, North
Hale County, Plainview, Texas;
McCulloch County, Brady, Texas;
Midland County, Midland, Texas.
MOTOR VEHICLE FATALITIES IN 1927
The following table shows the number of motor vehicle fatalities in each of
forty-four states in 1927. Figures are not available for Missouri, Mississippi,
Colorado and Utah. The total number of fatalities in the forty-four states and
the District of Columbia was 22,160. The number in 1926 was 20,312, thus the
average increase was 9.1 percent. '
The states are ranked according to the percentage of decrease or increase
over 1926. Only seven states showed a decrease in the number of fatalities.
North Carolina barely won a place in this group, the number of deaths from
antomobile accidents decreasing from 514 in 1926 to 611 in 1927. M^ontana made
the best record with a decrease from 101 to 77 fatalities. Nevada had the
greatest relative increase, 73.3 percent, though the absolute number in each
year was small.
In several states the number of fatalities reported does not include deaths
resulting from collisions of automobiles with trains and trolley cars.
Department of Rural Social-Economics, University of North Carolina
3 South Dakotat •
. 278 ..
7 North Carolina ...
. 511 ..
29 New York
. 344 ..
in Npw MpyiVo
34 North Dakota ..
.... 18 6
3 9 '
35 New Jersey
. 335 ..
40 West Virginia!.
18 New Hampshire
42 South Carolina..
20 Pennsylvaniaf ...
43 Ai'iz ;na*
21 Rhode Island ....
*Eleven months only.
i'Does not include collisions with heavier vehicles.