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-   -   Avoid traffic tickets with a 'NOT FOR HIRE' defense (http://message.snopes.com/showthread.php?t=88660)

snopes 14 February 2014 05:47 PM

Avoid traffic tickets with a 'NOT FOR HIRE' defense
 
Comment: There is a claim that all states have some sort of "Not for Hire"
clause that prohibits an officer from continuing to hold your vehicle up if
you have no one available for hire in the vehicle.

One comment states: "The only way the state can use the motor vehicle code is under the US
commerce, clause, if one is not putting an extra demand on the road or
carrying freight or passengers (for hire), the state can not lawfully act
upon you."

Is this article correct? Thanks!

http://www.pauljjhansen.com/?p=474

erwins 14 February 2014 05:51 PM

No. You're welcome.

To elaborate, states have plenary powers, and don't need authorization under the commerce clause. It seems like someone saw that some vehicles are marked "not for hire" and retconned an explanation that would protect them from tickets. FTR, I know that in Florida, just as an example, if you have a tow truck that you use only for your own property--a wrecking yard might have one, let's say--and you don't use it to pick up other people's cars for money, then you don't have to go through the licensing requirements for a commercial tow truck, but the truck has to be marked "not for hire."

Alarm 14 February 2014 06:02 PM

WoooooooOooooOOOoooo
:eek:

Nutjob alert!

ASL 14 February 2014 06:08 PM

Reads like a sovereign citizen website.

ETA: More on the author.

Elkhound 14 February 2014 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1802332)
No. You're welcome.

To elaborate, states have plenary powers, and don't need authorization under the commerce clause. It seems like someone saw that some vehicles are marked "not for hire" and retconned an explanation that would protect them from tickets.

Another example is people who convert school busses to RV's in some states have to mark them 'not for hire'.

Elkhound 14 February 2014 07:14 PM

You have a right to travel. You do not have a right to travel by car. Nobody is stopping you from walking or riding a bicycle. (See Mionsky's "Bicycling & the Law"; the preservation of non-licensed means of travel preserves the State's right to restrict those who operate motor vehicles to those licensed to do so.)

Stan The Man 14 February 2014 07:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elkhound (Post 1802350)
Another example is people who convert school busses to RV's in some states have to mark them 'not for hire'.

I've done a few searches and haven't been able to find any evidence of this. Do you have a cite? It just kinda sparked my curiosity.

A Turtle Named Mack 14 February 2014 07:43 PM

I wonder if with both the tow truck and converted school bus situations, it is not a matter of 'you must post the sign' as 'if you post the sign, we will not subject you to the commercial vehicle inspections.'

erwins 14 February 2014 07:56 PM

That's basically what I was saying with the tow truck example. Without the sign, there are additional regulations one must comply with. If one doesn't want to have to comply with them, one must have the sign.

Elkhound 14 February 2014 08:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stan The Man (Post 1802355)
I've done a few searches and haven't been able to find any evidence of this. Do you have a cite? It just kinda sparked my curiosity.

It was discussed on a message-board for people who do such conversions: http://www.skoolie.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=18

Hero_Mike 14 February 2014 08:54 PM

What Elkhound said. In Arizona I occasionally see large trucks (the "tractor" part of a "tractor-trailer" which is used by a private citizen for pulling their large trailers. I don't know if it exempts one from commercial vehicle inspections, but there is probably a different class of license and insurance. These vehicles will typically have a small, discrete "Not for hire" or "Not for commercial use" sign on them, but having seen some of the really decrepit old buses on the road, it should not exempt a vehicle from the "general" vehicle inspection.

erwins 14 February 2014 09:37 PM

Some states don't have general vehicle inspections. FL and OR among them.

Hero_Mike 14 February 2014 11:04 PM

Does that mean that it is legal to drive a vehicle in Florida or Oregon when it has no functional tail lights, headlights, or seat belts? Now headlights may be a time-of-day issue and seat belts are a function of what the rules were when the vehicle was manufactured (specifically, vehicles made before a certain year may not have shoulder belts, or that their use is optional), but the classic situation of being pulled over for a broken tail light - (or no functioning headlights at night) - must exist in some manner in every state.

Even in areas without emissions testing, I am reasonably sure that vehicles with excessive exhaust (as in "clouds of smoke"), excessive noise, or visibly defective safety devices, cannot be driven, or rather, would be cited by police if so encountered.

Stan The Man 14 February 2014 11:10 PM

Per wiki -
Quote:

On August 1, 2010, New Jersey became the 30th state that does not inspect vehicles for safety.

Richard W 14 February 2014 11:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elkhound (Post 1802352)
You have a right to travel. You do not have a right to travel by car. Nobody is stopping you from walking or riding a bicycle.

I thought walking was seen as pretty suspicious in some parts of the States and people got stopped for it quite often? If you're claiming there's more of a right to walk in the USA than there is to drive, how come you have laws against jaywalking? (Or "crossing the road" as we'd call it here?)

lavender blue 14 February 2014 11:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Stan The Man (Post 1802402)
Per wiki -
Quote:

On August 1, 2010, New Jersey became the 30th state that does not inspect vehicles for safety.

Of course they stopped doing inspections after I left. I failed NJ inspection twice in 3 years: once for malfunctioning daytime running lights, and once because I had a nail in my tire.

erwins 14 February 2014 11:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hero_Mike (Post 1802399)
Does that mean that it is legal to drive a vehicle in Florida or Oregon when it has no functional tail lights, headlights, or seat belts?

No. It means exactly as I said, that there are no general vehicle inspections there. I didn't say anything about driving vehicles that aren't legally equipped or in good repair. But of course it's just as illegal for a commercial vehicle to have a broken taillight as it is for a private one, so that isn't really relevant to the point under discussion.

RichardM 14 February 2014 11:32 PM

Inre Hero_Mike's question: you will get stopped for certain non-functioning lights such as brake lights, head lights, etc. You will get stopped for not using your seat belt but as you note, the age of the vehicle may get you out of that ticket and maybe even the stop.

As to the "Not for Hire" signs, this exempts you from certain road use taxes. It does not exempt you from having the proper class drivers license for the type of vehicle you are driving. You can not drive a big rig without that class of license. Many times, states will determine you are a commercial rig, i.e. for hire, if you have advertising on the side of your trailer or truck. I see this among my racing friends. The "toterhome" (see http://www.racingjunk.com/category/1...otorhomes.html for examples) is popular among the richer teams. These are tractor trailer cabs with large living quarters built in towing a trailer only slightly smaller than a semi. These can be licensed as an RV and you don't even have to a big rig license. It also exempts you from the DOT record keeping for the driver logs. But these will get stopped as a commercial vehicle on occasion if they are plastered with the usual advertising.

I personally tow with a 1 ton crew cab and an open trailer. I am subject to being stopped as a commercial vehicle due to the sponsorship on the car until such time as the cop notices that the sponsorship says things like "I Brake for Aliens." I have had to stop at one truck weigh station a couple of years ago. That was going from South Dakota into Nebraska. Nebraska had a sign that said "All Pickups with Trailers Must Stop." They were checking to be sure we weren't using 'farm' fuel in the truck. When we pulled in, the inspector walked out with the dip tube to test the fuel. He asked me if I know my fuel cap was open. I didn't but I told him we did that just to make his job easier. He smiled and sent us on our way.

lord_feldon 14 February 2014 11:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard W (Post 1802403)
If you're claiming there's more of a right to walk in the USA than there is to drive, how come you have laws against jaywalking? (Or "crossing the road" as we'd call it here?)

I guarantee you that while it may not seem like it, there are far more restrictions on driving a car.

Hero_Mike 15 February 2014 01:04 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by erwins (Post 1802409)
No. It means exactly as I said, that there are no general vehicle inspections there. I didn't say anything about driving vehicles that aren't legally equipped or in good repair. But of course it's just as illegal for a commercial vehicle to have a broken taillight as it is for a private one, so that isn't really relevant to the point under discussion.

I strongly believe that the issue here is that commercial vehicles may be subject to inspection even where there is no general vehicle inspection, so where a commercial vehicle may be subject to a random roadside inspection (or while parked), even as a "primary offence" (see below), a privately owned and operated vehicle (even if it looks like a commercial vehicle) is *not* subject to those inspections. So while a commercial vehicle may require (for example - I am making this up) a first-aid kit and fire extinguisher, the law may allow for inspection of this particular element. Such an inspection could reveal other illegal activities not related to the vehicle itself (i.e. contraband). In this case, the advantage would be to declare a vehicle as "non-commercial" even when it is, because private vehicles are not subject to that kind of inspection.

Declaring a private vehicle as anything but that, would seem to invite additional and unwanted scrutiny, which is contrary to the intention of avoiding tickets.

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichardM (Post 1802412)
Inre Hero_Mike's question: you will get stopped for certain non-functioning lights such as brake lights, head lights, etc. You will get stopped for not using your seat belt but as you note, the age of the vehicle may get you out of that ticket and maybe even the stop.

Things vary. In Arizona, for example, seat belts for adults are not a "primary offence" - you can't be stopped just for seat belt non-compliance, and the penalty is only a $10 civil penalty. (For children, seat-belt non-conformance is a primary offence and subject to a $50 civil penalty.)

The cut-off for seat belts here is 1972 model year - relatively new in the sense of automotive history, and a small percentage of vehicles on road today. Only an aficionado can tell the difference between the specifics and I would imagine that police would rely upon the information in the registration and insurance to determine the model year. I have a 1971 Oldsmobile and it has separate lap and shoulder belts - both are optional but I wear the lap belt only.


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