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Williamsport Sun: January 7, 1943 – Start Enforcement of Pleasure Driving Ban; O.P.A. Explains Order

Approximately 100 Office of Price Administration agents, police officers, and other state, county and borough enforcement personnel began “spot-checking” today in Lycoming County for violators of the new “no pleasure” driving order to conserve supplies of gasoline.

Clarification of how the government would put the teeth in the order came at noon when O.P.A. representatives began distribution of instructions and procedures to local police agencies.

The Williamsport office carried instructions to the police department, county, and borough officers. State Motor Police were expected to receive orders from their headquarters at Harrisburg.

Ray S. Thrall, manager of the O.P.A. district office said parked cars will be “spot-checked” at all places of amusement, recreation, and entertainment. Cars observed on sightseeing trips, touring on vacation travel will be stopped and the operator questioned as to the legality of the trip.

It was further pointed out that the burden of proof that the driving is permissible rests on the operator and owner of the automobile.

The entire O.P.A. staff is deputized to police the gasoline order and with other enforcement officers will turn in license numbers of violators to the nearest O.P.A. office or War Price and Rationing Board.

In case of a violation, the local War and Ration Boards may take action to cut off or reduce the rations of violators. No police officer is authorized to arbitrarily lift any ration coupon book, it was made plain.