The first accident - In 1771 the first accident involving a motor vehicle took place in Paris when a steam tractor hit a low wall in the grounds of the Paris arsenal.
The first Act - The Locomotives and Highway Act was the first piece of British motoring legislation. This was also known as the Red Flag Act of 1865. The act required three persons in attendance one to steer, one to stoke and one to walk 60 yards ahead with a read flag to warn the oncoming traffic.
The first number in the world - The world's first car number plates were issued by the French Police in 1893.
First road traffic death - The first road traffic death occurred on a terrace in the grounds of Crystal Palace in London on 17th August'1896. The victim was Bridget Driscoll, a 44 year old mother with two children who had come to London with her teenage daughter and a friend to watch advancing display.
First fatal car accident - The first motor - car accident in Britain resulting in the death of the driver occurred in Grove Hill, Harrow - on-the Hill, London, on 25th February 1900.
Dusty road to tar surface - In 1902, tar was first used on a macadam surface to prevent dust in Monte Carlo. It was the idea of Dr. Guglielminetti, a Swiss. At first the tar was brushed in cold, but soon it was applied hot.
The Motor Car Act - The Motor Car Act of Britain came into force on 1st January 1904. It required that all cars be registered and carry a number plate, and all motorists to have a driving licence. But there was no driving test to pass and the licence was obtained by filing up a form and paying the fee at a post office. The act made dangerous driving an indictable offence.
The first petrol pump - The first petrol pump was installed in USA in 1906.
The first traffic light in the world - The world's first traffic lights were installed in Detroit, USA in 1919. The first traffic lights in Britain were installed in Wolverhampton during 1928. However, they did not come to London till 1932.
Pedestrian crossing - The Pedestrian crossings were instituted in Britain in 1934. The roads were marked by dotted lines. On the pavement there were striped Belisha beacon light poles named after Britain's Minister of Transport L. Hore- Belisha. The Zebra crossing with black and white stripes was developed after the Second World War.
First box junction - Box junctions, marked with yellow cross - hatching, were introduced in London during 1964. The aim was to prevent traffic blocking junctions when it could not proceed.
First traffic police woman - Police women were used for traffic control duties for the first time in Paris in 1964.
Sixteen per cent of the world's population in the United States of America, Europe, Japan and Australia produces 88 per cent and owns 81 per cent of all cars.
Eighteen per cent of all global carbon dioxide emissions are from cars.
The global average efficiency of vehicles is 5 km to a litre. Japan and Western Europe manage an average of up to 11 km.
The world's most durable car is a diesel engine, a 1957 Mercedes 180D, which travelled 1.90 million km in 21 years. That is the equivalent of five times the distance to the moon.
40, Sir Mohamed Macan Markar Mawatha, P.O.Box 338, Colombo 03.