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  1. #1
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    Jul 2019
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    Default Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Virginia for riding my Slingshot in the HOV lane. I thought I was riding a motorcycle. The Federal Government classifies this vehicle as a motorcycle, however, Virginia recognizes the Slingshot as a "Autocycle". Under Virginia law motorcycles are allowed in the HOV lane but apparently not Autocycles. If the federal government recognizes it as a motorcycle can I successfully argue that the supremacy clause of Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows my right to be treated as if I was legally riding a motorcycle in the HOV lane? For two months I have been taking advantage of the HOV lanes, I thought legally passing and being passed by State Police some even giving me the thumbs up at the odd looking bike. Then this week I was stopped by a trooper that said all of his fellow troopers are wrong.

    Side note I understand that it is the federal government that requires states to allow motorcycles in the HOV lanes because of an understanding that this it is safer for riders not be in stop and go traffic. And a slingshot is built only to meet the federal safety standards of that of the motorcycle class.

  2. #2
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    I don't think you quite understand Article 6 but it doesn't matter. The feds consider it a motorcycle for safety laws. The Feds have little to nothing to do with how states register and regulate them.

    Here is the state law...

    46.2-100. Definitions.
    As used in this title, unless the context requires a different meaning:

    "Autocycle" means a three-wheeled motor vehicle that has a steering wheel and seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride and is manufactured to comply with federal safety requirements for motorcycles. Except as otherwise provided, an autocycle shall not be deemed to be a motorcycle.

  3. #3
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    Jul 2019
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    thank you for your reply PayrolGuy I did subsequent to my being ticketed find that language. But regarding your comment about Article 6 what am I not understanding does it not state that any federal law, even if it is only a regulation from a federal agency, supersedes any conflicting state law, even if that law is part of the state's constitution

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Here's Article 6. Show me where you think it says that.

    All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

    This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and the Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any state to the Contrary notwithstanding.

    The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.


    Now here is the 10 Amendment. It should give you a clue as to how Article 6 doesn't do what you think it does.

    The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Quote Quoting Slingshot
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    The Federal Government classifies this vehicle as a motorcycle
    What does that mean? Are you saying that there is a federal statute or regulation that says this? If so, what statute or regulation says it? If it's neither a statute nor a regulation or you don't know the answer to this question, what is the basis for your statement that the "[f]ederal [g]overnment classifies this vehicle as a motorcycle"?


    Quote Quoting Slingshot
    View Post
    If the federal government recognizes it as a motorcycle can I successfully argue that the supremacy clause of Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows my right to be treated as if I was legally riding a motorcycle in the HOV lane?
    I'd have to read the applicable federal statute or regulation to answer that. Also, were you on an interstate highway? State highway? Some other type of road?


    Quote Quoting Slingshot
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    For two months I have been taking advantage of the HOV lanes, I thought legally passing and being passed by State Police some even giving me the thumbs up at the odd looking bike. Then this week I was stopped by a trooper that said all of his fellow troopers are wrong.
    Just because Cop #1 didn't pull you over doesn't mean he/she was "wrong" about anything. I regularly exceed the posted speed in plain view of cops all the time but haven't received a speeding ticket in over 25 years.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    I'd have to read the applicable federal statute or regulation to answer that.
    As far as I know the only federal laws/regulations dealing with them are the safety regulations. They class them with motorcycles. Has nothing to do with HOV lanes and how states register them.

  7. #7
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    May 2014
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    207

    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
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    "Autocycle" means a three-wheeled motor vehicle that has a steering wheel and seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride and is manufactured to comply with federal safety requirements for motorcycles. Except as otherwise provided, an autocycle shall not be deemed to be a motorcycle.
    I am not sure that law is clear and would contest it. It states; "Except as otherwise provided, an autocycle shall not be deemed to be a motorcycle." What does "otherwise provided" mean?

    The laws in Virginia clearly state it is registered as a motorcycle and one must wear a helmet when operating one, and you must have a motorcycle license to operate one. In that regard, I would argue that it is "otherwise provided". The funny thing is, the Va DMV will not allow you to use one to obtain your motorcycle license.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Quote Quoting Guybrush
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    I am not sure that law is clear and would contest it. It states; "Except as otherwise provided, an autocycle shall not be deemed to be a motorcycle." What does "otherwise provided" mean?
    Two successfully argue that you would need to find and "otherwise provided" that had something to do with HOV lane usage. Feel free to find that and show it to the OP. I'm sure he will be grateful.

    What the autocycle classification does is allow those without a motorcycle endorsement on the license to drive one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
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    Ohio
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    Default Re: Hov Violation Riding a Polaris Slingshot

    Quote Quoting Slingshot
    View Post
    My question involves a traffic ticket from the state of: Virginia for riding my Slingshot in the HOV lane. I thought I was riding a motorcycle. The Federal Government classifies this vehicle as a motorcycle, however, Virginia recognizes the Slingshot as a "Autocycle". Under Virginia law motorcycles are allowed in the HOV lane but apparently not Autocycles. If the federal government recognizes it as a motorcycle can I successfully argue that the supremacy clause of Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution allows my right to be treated as if I was legally riding a motorcycle in the HOV lanes?
    IF you were cited on Federally owned property like a National Park road, maybe under the CFR, you might have a reasonable argument.

    Article 6 is not absolute in nature, for example, some State Supreme Courts have ruled they do not have to honor federal court decisions ruling on state law matters, just the United States Supreme Court rulings.

    As stated, such a definition by the feds, does not override or pre-empt any state definition for transportation purposes. However you are free to argue any defense you wish, it may have some weight??

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