23 September 2009

Toy or vehicle?

From the Northwest Herald:
Man rides motorbike in court

"WOODSTOCK – A Marengo man charged with drunken driving rode his motorbike in court Tuesday, not to it.

"Carl Ahrens, 36, said he rode his Razor MX500 from Judge Thomas Meyer’s bench to the back of the courtroom in an effort to prove that the bike was a toy, not a motor vehicle. It operates on a 12-volt battery."
"'I can’t believe I’m in this much trouble over a toy,' Ahrens said. 'It goes 4 miles an hour. I plug it in overnight.'

"Ahrens also was charged with driving with a blood-alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent, endangering the health of a child, improper operation of an off-road motorcycle, operating an uninsured motor vehicle, and driving without registration."

Here is the vehicle in question:

It is a toy, and I can't help but wonder what the heck a 36-year-old in Marengo was doing with one (since it seems that most adults in the boondocks prefer actual gas-powered dirtbikes and ATVs to some sissy battery-operated POS from Wal-mart), but I still say go ahead and throw the book at him. Small electric vehicles redefined as so-called alternative transportation are popping up all over the place, and we don't want to establish any precedents for getting away with careless operation, regardless of whether the operators consider them vehicles or toys.

Besides, bicycles are already legally defined as "vehicles." You can't at this point legally define anything (motorized or not) that goes slower than some arbitrary number of miles per hour as a "toy" without also completely rewriting the entire Illinois Vehicle Code, which would be expensive---enormously, stupidly, furiously expensive, seeing as how this is Illinois.


At 23 September, 2009 21:44, Blogger reub2000 said...

Razor claims that the device can go 15mph. That's 14x the claimed kinetic energy at 4mph, and probably enough energy to seriously injure a pedestrian in a collision.


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