The Model T auto had been on the roads about 30 years in 1939, yet what we now see as common sense traffic laws did not exist in most places.
But the public supported many proposed regulations.
From a Gallup survey that year:
To reduce automobile accidents, would you favor any of the following measures?
Revoke licenses of drunk drivers
Uniform traffic laws and regulations for all states
Compulsory brake and headlight inspection
Jail sentences for drunken drivers
Strict laws against jaywalking
Strict drivers' tests with regular physical and mental examination
Compulsory auto liability insurance
Installing "speed governors" on motors so that cars could not go faster than 50 miles an hour
More severe punishment for violation of traffic laws
Special markings for cars whose drivers have been at fault in accidents
Gallup, March 6-11, 1939
We might call that last proposal "accident driver shaming" today!
See the entire Gallup report HERE.