Law School Case Brief
Kane v. New Jersey - 242 U.S. 160, 37 S. Ct. 30 (1916)
The power of a state to regulate the use of motor vehicles on its highways is extended to non-residents as well as to residents. It includes the right to exact reasonable compensation for special facilities afforded as well as reasonable provisions to ensure safety. And it is properly exercised in imposing a license fee graduated according to the horse power of the engine.
Defendant was a resident of New York who had been licensed as a driver under the laws of both New York and New Jersey, but had not registered his car in New Jersey. Defendant sought review of a judgment from the Court of Errors and Appeals of the State of New Jersey, which affirmed defendant's conviction and fine for driving in New Jersey without registering his car in New Jersey in violation of the New Jersey automobile law of 1906, as amended in 1908.
Was the State empowered to regulate the use of its highways by motor vehicles?
In the absence of national legislation covering the subject a State may rightfully prescribe uniform regulations necessary for public safety and order in respect to the operation upon its highways of all motor vehicles -- those moving in interstate commerce as well as others. The United States Supreme Court affirmed the appellate court's judgment, and affirmed defendant's conviction for driving in New Jersey without registering his car in New Jersey in violation of the New Jersey automobile law of 1906.
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