Originally Posted by Blank Check
Biknut, thanks for responding. I spent over an hour at Texas Transportation Code - Texas Attorney Resources - Texas Laws
and I think I can do this if I approach the bike as a moped. It amounts to a couple of fees a written test (no practical, it seems) etc. Not, the big deal that I was afraid it was.
About Addison: I remember Addison...loved it there. I probably spent a little too much time at Carson's Palace and strangely enough, at the Bent Tree Grill. I used to fly out of Addison airport back in the days when I was a flight instructor.
My advice, for what it's worth;
Don't ever refer to your motor bicycle as a moped in Texas. It's impossible at this time to register a motor bicycle in Texas because there's no VIN#.
Just ride it and don't worry about it too much. If anyone wants to make a federal case about it, about all they can do is write a ticket for riding an unregistered moped, which is an equipment violation not a moving violation.
If you should happen to be cited it's very unlikely the case wouldn't dismissed if you tell the court you want a trial. Motor Bicycles are a admitted gray area in Texas law. That's what I was told by an officer in the DPS that's in charge of the motorcycle saftey division. If you know the right things to say there's a very good chance you would prevail in court. That's their opinion.
This should give you all the ammunition you need to win in court.
Training Specialist III
TxDPS Motorcycle Safety Unit
512-424-2817 or 800-292-5787
ATTORNEY GENERAL OF TEXAS
April 15 2004
Opinion No. GA-0179
bla bla bla,
Article 4413(37) contains no definition of either “automobile” or “motor vehicle.” We must
therefore look to other statutes and case law to discern the meaning of those terms. See La Sara
Grain Co. v. First Nat ‘I Bank, 673 S.W.2d 558,565 (Tex. 1984). In Nichols v. State, 242 S.W.2d
396 (Tex. Crim. App. 195 1), the court held that the word “automobile,” as used by the legislature
in describing the offense of driving while intoxicated, “is a generic term which includes the motor
vehicle commonly known as a ‘truck.“’ Id. at 397. In SmaZZ v. State, 631 S.W.2d 201 (Tex.
App.-Corpus Christi 1982, no writ), the court held that, for purposes of the offense of driving while
intoxicated, “automobile” is broad enough to include “motorcycle.” No Texas case has held,
however, that self-propelled farm or construction equipment is embraced within the definition of
“automobile” for purposes of article 4413(37).
The Texas Supreme Court has held that, in common usage, the terms “automobile” and
“motor vehicle” are not synonymous:
The courts have held the term “motor vehicle” to be different from
and broader than the term “automobile.“. . . Common usage has
made the phrase “motor vehicle” a generic term for all classes of selfpropelled
vehicles not operating on stationary rails or tracks, and
therefore, as a result all automobiles are motor vehicles, but the
contrary proposition is not true. The term “motor vehicle” is much
broader than the word “automobile” and includes various vehicles
which cannot be classified as automobiles.
Slaughter v. Abilene State Sch., 561 S.W.2d 789’791-92 (Tex.. 1977). There is no single definition
of “motor vehicle” under Texas law. Under the Certificate of Title Act, for example, “motor
vehicle” includes “any motor driven or propelled vehicle required to be registered under the laws of
this state; a trailer or semitrailer . . . that has a gross vehicle weight that exceeds 4,000 pounds; a
house trailer; a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle . . .; [and] a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, or moped.”
TEX. TRANSP. CODE ANIN. 5 501.002(14) (Vernon Supp. 2004). For purposes of Motor Vehicle
Safety Responsibility Act, a “motor vehicle” is “a self-propelled vehicle designed for use on a
, a trailer or semitrailer for use with a self-propelled vehicle, or a vehicle propelled by
Mr. Mac Tristan - Page 5 (GA-0179)
electric power fkom overhead wires and not operated on rails.” Id. 0 601.002(5) (Vernon 1999).
Other statutes define “motor vehicle” in various but similar ways. A number of statutes emphasize
the “highway use” aspect in defining the term. See, e.g., id. 0 647.001 (Vernon Supp. 2004) (relating
to the motor transportation of migrant agricultural workers); TEX. TAX CODE ANN. Ej 162.001(44)
(Vernon Supp. 2004) (relating to motor fuel taxes); TEX. NAT. RES. CODE Am. $ 116.001(8)
(Vernon 2001) (relating to compressed natural gas).
I think this clearly defines a motor vehicle as self propelled, not human peddled. This should at the very least establish a benefit of doubt for a jury. This is probably why the DPS told me it's a gray area in the law, but didn't volunteer to tell me why.