Stephen Kempton was crushed beneath the wheels of a heavy motor vehicle – a large electric cab – in the winter of 1897 on Stockmar Road in Hackney. He was nine years old.
Upon being told the gory details, a jury member at Hackney Coroner’s Court asked:
“Wouldn’t it be possible to put some sort of guard between the wheel and the body of the car to prevent such accidents in future?”
The coroner said: “I dare say that can be remedied easily enough by a practical engineer.”
Source: Autocar journal, October 1897
In 2013, many heavy goods vehicles – most especially tipper trucks – remain without such protective devices.