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Author Topic: More fun in Virginia  (Read 5000 times)
miatateer
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« on: June 27, 2007, 05:23:48 AM »

If you haven't heard about this...you better take a read

http://www.courts.state.va.us/publications/hb_3202.pdf

Be careful!!!!
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ahamos
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« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2007, 06:15:21 AM »

Wow.  My favorite part is where they declare at the beginning that this is only for certain offenses, and not for failure to yield, but then later list pretty much every motor vehicle violation known (and some unknown) to man.

Did you catch the "on parking lot, etc."?  So much for autocrossing!

" 46.2-864. Reckless driving on parking lots, etc. - A person shall be guilty of reckless driving who operates any motor vehicle at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger the life, limb, or property of any person:

1. On any driveway or premises of a church, school, recreational facility, or business property open to the public; or
2. On the premises of any industrial establishment providing parking space for customers, patrons, or employees; or
3. On any highway under construction or not yet open to the public "
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danielg
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« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2007, 07:02:41 AM »

the "on parking lot" bit has been around for at least 1-2 years.  I recall seeing it while researching reckless driving after my most recent offense.  Back then there was a bit that said "without the property owner's permissions."  Without that, autocrossing would be illegal.  I hope that text remains!
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wahoo5
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« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2007, 01:36:42 PM »

That Code section was last amended in 1989 so you must be remembering a different section with the "permission" language in it. I also don't think that autocrossing meets that defintion of reckless driving. I would argue that an organized autocross operating under SCCA and insurance rules does not "endanger the life, limb, or property of any person." I would further argue that the portion of RIR we use, i.e., the parking lot where the autocross occurs, is not open to the public.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #4 on: June 28, 2007, 07:59:46 AM »

I'm glad someone posted this.  I was concerned when I saw it in the newspaper yesterday.  It seems rather severe for the lesser offenses and also unfairly punishes Virginia residents more than out of state residents.  Seem like it could be challenged in court as it hands out radically different punshmnets for the same offense to different offenders depending upon their residence.
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wahoo5
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« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2007, 01:59:45 PM »

This was a key piece of the House Republican's bid to close the budget gap. These are "user fees", not "taxes." In some instances Federal law would prohibit a state from treating out-of-staters worse, but I can't think of any Federal law that would be violated when a state chooses to focus traffic fines on its residents.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2007, 11:41:00 AM »

I thought equal protection under the law might apply to this.
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wahoo5
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« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2007, 02:41:39 PM »

The equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution is pretty difficult to apply. It is not nearly as simple as it sounds.

First, I am am not sure it applies here at all since it only protects you from state action if you are under the jurisdiction of the state. I don't recall whether that limits the application to state residents, but it certainly could.

Even if you get past that hurdle, as long as no protected class is involved, lawmakers only need a "rational basis" for the different treatment under the law. I suspect they could find one if they needed to.

Here is more info on equal protection than you ever wanted to know - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equal_Protection_Clause.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2007, 03:02:19 PM »

It certainaly will be more burdensome on lower income families.  It also means everyone who is cited will need to go to court and fight.  You certainly would need to contest any citations that are subjective in nature.  Is anyone interested in starting a letter writing campaign to our representatives?  While I agree that we need to stop drunk and reckless driving, this law is unfair to residents and clearly is not intended to stop bad behavior.  It is a tax that our representatives were afraid to address directly.

Wes
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miatateer
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2007, 11:23:25 AM »

As the link I posted indicated, this is a revenue generator and the lawmakers fully admit that.

Of course, there is a simple answer to all this...behave! Cheesy :p
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lc
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« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2007, 07:12:14 AM »

Make note of who voted for such stupid laws and make sure they do not get re-elected.
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wahoo5
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« Reply #11 on: July 04, 2007, 11:19:38 AM »

Not as simple as it sounds. This was not a single issue bill, but one of the many parts of the state budget worked out by the House and Seante budget negotiators. It passed the House and Seante and then was amended by the Governor. The House and Senate then voted to accept the Governor's amendments.

All the votes on this bill can be found here - http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?ses=071&typ=bil&val=hb3202. Just click on the blue vote talley to see how the individual members voted.

Good luck.

David
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David Ogburn
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2007, 06:39:14 PM »

This still strikes me as denying equal protection and may also violate the 8th Amendment.  No doubt in my mind this will be tested in court.  It is one thing to warn people to behave, but I have now seen 2 highway patrolmen lie - issuing tickets for speeds (in one case FAR) beyond the actual speed detected.  In this case it was proven in court that the speed charged was beyond the physical capabilities of the vehicle!  It's like warning women to stay out of dark places because they might be raped - not recalling that the rape is the crime.

You don't have a right to see the detector - literally, a motorist is presumed guilty.  This law will make the officers on the power trip even more liable to exaggerate the speed.  Funny how we can have cameras on board but no need to show the speed,, eh?  Speed limits (Virginia is lower than many other surrounding states) have become revenue generators, and the speed limit has little to do with safety (55 -60) all the way past Petersburg?)
 
As far as I am concerned this is completely ludicrous.  Sign the on-line petition.  Raise the gasoline tax if they need more money for roads.

Dennis
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