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Steam gives way to sail? Presumed liability? “Get off the road!”, 1935

The cartoon below is from a light-hearted book on road safety, first published in 1935, You Have Been Warned: A Complete Guide to the Road by Fougasse and McCullough. The line drawings were split across a number of pages; I’ve collated them into one image. Fougasse was the name used by Cyril Kenneth Bird, the English cartoonist who would later become famous for his ‘Careless talks cost lives’ WWII propaganda posters.

"Get Off The Road!" Fougasse 1935

Fougasse was poking fun at the entitlement issues some road users had in the 1930s, and, of course, still have today. Instead of ‘Steam gives way to sail’, I could have used ‘strict liability’ because this – or the softer term presumed liability – is what the cartoon demonstrates: that might is not right.

Fougasse was also highlighting use of the new-fangled Belisha Beacons, commissioned by the cyclist-hating minister of transport Leslie-Hore Belisha.

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