This page, No. 8: (1st Series) Establishing a 40 m.p.h. speed limit on public ways, is offered by
Executive Order

Executive Order No. 8: (1st Series) Establishing a 40 m.p.h. speed limit on public ways

Date: 03/16/1942
Issuer: Leverett Saltonstall
Amended by: 1st Series Executive Order 35
Amended by: 1st Series Executive Order 56
Revoked by: 1st Series Executive Order 77

Table of Contents

WHEREAS, the conservation of rubber is of vital importance to the Commonwealth and to the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, the operation of motor vehicles at high rates of speed tends to waste auto- mobile tires, to deplete the supply of rubber available for civilian and military purposes and to impair transportation facilities; and

WHEREAS, Franklin D. Roosevelt, President of the United States of America, in a letter dated March 13, 1942, addressed to the Governors of the several states, requested the promulgation of regulations limiting all motor vehicles to a maximum speed of forty miles per hour and providing for the frequent checking of automobile tires in order to insure their repair and to aid in their conservation:

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Leverett Saltonstall, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acting under the provisions of Acts of 1941, chapter 719, section 7; Acts of 1942, chapter 13, section 2, (3), (5); and section 3, and all other authority vested in me, do hereby issue this order as a measure necessary and expedient for meeting the supreme emergency of the existing state of war between the United States and any foreign country.

  1. No person shall operate any motor vehicle on any public way within the Common- wealth at a rate of speed in excess of forty miles per hour, except as provided in General Laws (Ter. Ed.) chapter 89, section 7B, inserted by Acts of 1934, chapter 382.
  2. No person shall operate a motor vehicle or trailer on any public way within the Commonwealth unless the said motor vehicle or trailer is equipped with tires in such condition as to permit the safe operation of said vehicle or trailer. The Registrar of Motor Vehicles is hereby authorized and empowered to prepare rules and regulations providing for periodic inspections for the purpose of determining whether the said vehicles or trailers may be safely operated with said tires. Rules and regulations prepared pursuant to this order shall be issued in accordance with, and shall be subject to, the provisions of General Laws (Ter. Ed.) chapter 90, section 31.
  3. Any person who violates the provisions of this order, or of any rule or regulation issued hereunder, shall be punished therefor by imprisonment for not more than one year or by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars, or both.

GIVEN at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this sixteenth day of March, in the year of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and forty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the one hundred and sixty-sixth.

By His Excellency the Governor,



Secretary of the Commonwealth

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