The law restricted cars to 12 mph in the city and 15 mph in rural areas. State Rep. Robert Jeremiah Woodruff had submitted a proposal to Connecticut's General Assembly proposing limits of 8 mph in cities and 12 mph outside.
The state also required drivers to stop for horse-drawn carriages, which remained popular at the time.
The state's penalty for violating the speed limit was a fine of "not more than two hundred dollars for each offense."
In 1901, there were some 4,200 cars across America and the auto industry was in its infancy. Motorized vehicles powered by electricity or gasoline -- some called them horseless carriages -- largely operated with no streetlights, traffic signals, road markings or licenses. As the automobile became more affordable and widespread, the adoption of speed limits and other traffic codes across the country remained uneven.
As late as 1930, a dozen states had no speed limit, while 28 states did not require a driver's license to operate a motor vehicle, according to history.com.