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Old 04-24-2019, 06:05 PM
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If usain bolt sprinted through a school zone, exceeding the 25mph speed limit, could he be cited?


Just a thought - I know you can receive a ticket for breaking the speed limit on a bicycle. But what about on foot, if you can sprint faster than the sign...?

Err, meant to post this in General Questions, not great debates, but...

Last edited by SamuelA; 04-24-2019 at 06:06 PM.
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Old 04-24-2019, 06:12 PM
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Now I'm picturing the car chase.
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Old 04-24-2019, 07:58 PM
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I would think a vehicle or horse/ostrich/animal would need to be used. Many more people are capable of running through 10mph parking lots. Never heard of one cited unless they flatten someone and then they still don't get a speeding ticket.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:27 AM
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I think the limit is set due to the carnage that can be inflicted by a heavy motor vehicle, not a 180 lb human.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:33 AM
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In Texas, speed limits exist for people operating vehicles (which can include bicycles), so, no, running wouldn't count. I imagine most states would be similar, but laws do sometimes vary in surprising ways by state.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:34 AM
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I knew someone who was issued a warning for being on a horse exceeding the speed limit through a school zone. I said "being on a horse" as the rider had completely lost control and was strictly a passenger at the time.

The asshats who thought it would be funny to shoot a gun into the air while a riding school was leading students back to the barn got a substantially greater punishment. Which they deserved.
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Old 04-25-2019, 07:52 AM
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The relevant statutes always apply to the use of vehicles. In Ontario, speeding is a violation of the "Highway Traffic Act." It is not possible to violate the Highway Traffic Act unless you are in fact a part of traffic on a highway (which in this sense means any public road; a sleepy residential street is a "highway" too.) The speeding section actually starts with the words "No person shall drive a motor vehicle at a rate of speed greater than..." followed by all the details about what the speed limit is and how it's set.

Pretty much any state or province in North America will have an essentially equivalent law. As Broomstick points out, some places may still have laws where a horse is considered a vehicle; as it happens Ontario seems to have excluded horses. If you're wondering, no, bicycles don't count in Ontario as motor vehicles; they are addressed in other sections of the Highway Traffic Act, though.

The incredible detail these laws go into can be kind of amusing. I just discovered the HTA excludes tricycles from the definition of bicycles so as far as I can tell, if you're on a tricycle, it's the Wild West. Get that bad boy up to 200 and the cops can't stop you.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:49 AM
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I just discovered the HTA excludes tricycles from the definition of bicycles so as far as I can tell, if you're on a tricycle, it's the Wild West. Get that bad boy up to 200 and the cops can't stop you.
Everyone knows the HTA is in the pocket of Big Wheel.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:04 AM
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Just a thought - I know you can receive a ticket for breaking the speed limit on a bicycle. But what about on foot, if you can sprint faster than the sign...?

Err, meant to post this in General Questions, not great debates, but...
If, in the movies, a dog can play basketball because the referee determines there's nothing in the rulebook prohibiting a Golden Retriever from playing power forward, then of COURSE Mr. Bolt can have his running license suspended for repeatedly violating the speed limit.
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Old 04-25-2019, 11:46 AM
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Moving from Great Debates to General Questions.

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Old 04-25-2019, 12:10 PM
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In Texas, speed limits exist for people operating vehicles (which can include bicycles), so, no, running wouldn't count. I imagine most states would be similar, but laws do sometimes vary in surprising ways by state.
If he's carrying someone, does he become a vehicle? If he's pulling a cart?
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:17 PM
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If it were up to me then yes, pulling a cart would count as driving a vehicle because you could be pulling it down a slope where you could easily exceed the speed limit. Otherwise you'd have to say that a cart only becomes a vehicle when on more than x degrees of a downward slope, and it's easier to just say it's always a vehicle.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:49 PM
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The (Jamaican) Road Traffic Act limits speeding infractions to motor vehicles, which are defined as "any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads." It does not define "mechanically propelled," as far as I can tell, but I very much doubt Bolt qualifies.
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:57 PM
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The (Jamaican) Road Traffic Act limits speeding infractions to motor vehicles, which are defined as "any mechanically propelled vehicle intended or adapted for use on roads." It does not define "mechanically propelled," as far as I can tell, but I very much doubt Bolt qualifies.
What if a runner had those prosthetic feet that are springier than regular human feet? I've heard that they can actually give a runner an advantage over runners without prosthetics (though I doubt many athletes would undergo voluntary amputation for the advantage). We could be into mechanically propelled territory then.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:15 PM
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I was crossing the street in San Diego last week, and some douchbag on a skateboard nearly hit me. He was coming down a slight grade, going probably 10-15mph, and he made a right turn as I was crossing the road. He couldn’t see me because another asshole in a car was making a right also, against the pedestrian walk sign. If the skateboarder had hit me, I’m sure it would have hurt both of us.

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Old 04-25-2019, 01:16 PM
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If he's carrying someone, does he become a vehicle? If he's pulling a cart?
You can check the legal definition of 'vehicle' in Texas here.

Short answer: no

Not as short answer: the cart wouldn't be, either, though I'd be super impressed if anybody could sprint faster than 25 mph while carrying a person or pulling a cart.

Really not a short answer: interestingly enough, a train would also not be a vehicle under the definition as provided but would be considered a form of rail transportation, which is covered under other appropriate Texas statutes - which seems appropriate since a problem with trains speeding in school zones would mean the problem occurred back when the rail line and schools were designed/built.
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Old 04-25-2019, 01:56 PM
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I just discovered the HTA excludes tricycles from the definition of bicycles so as far as I can tell, if you're on a tricycle, it's the Wild West. Get that bad boy up to 200 and the cops can't stop you.


Damn! I've been debating buying one of those, but now I'm sold!
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Old 04-25-2019, 02:06 PM
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Anyone doing a better than 4 minute mile pace would be "speeding" in a parking lot. Of course in most jurisdictions the only thing you can be charged with (traffic citation) in a parking lot is reckless driving. I doubt that would stand up, unless you were, well, driving.

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Old 04-25-2019, 03:41 PM
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I don't know about springy feet (or shoes, on a person with OEM feet), but I would certainly expect a bicycle to be considered "mechanically propelled", but would not call it a "motor vehicle".
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Old 04-25-2019, 03:58 PM
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Speed limits (and other traffic laws) apply to vehicles on public roadways. So it would depend on the specific state, and their definition of 'vehicle'.

In most states, besides the obvious cars & trucks, it includes bicycles (and sometimes unicycles & tricycles), and even animal-pulled vehicles like horse-drawn carriages (or oxen-pulled carts, or (possible here in Minnesota) dogsleds. But those are unlikely to exceed any speed limits. Secretariat's world records was 37.5 mi/hr, and only for 1.5 miles.)

There have been numerous cases of people ticketed for violating other traffic laws (primarily DUI) while in non-automotive 'vehicles'. Like drunken drivers on horses, on construction vehicles, etc.
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Old 04-25-2019, 05:15 PM
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Note "public" can mean open or accessible to the public, even if it's on private property.

For example, several states have speed limit laws that apply to shopping center parking lots. And even if the state doesn't, the city or county might, and state law often defaults to the city/county for speed limits within city/county limits.
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Old 04-25-2019, 08:11 PM
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Ohio's law only appears to apply to a person driving a "motor vehicle, trackless trolley, or streetcar." Part of the definition of "motor vehicle" is that it's "drawn by power other than muscular power," so unless there's something somewhere else, neither bicyclists nor pedestrians can be guilty of speeding.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 04-25-2019 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:30 PM
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Not even the best sprinters in the world can maintain their top speed very long. As they approach the finish line in the 100 meter dash, they are all slowing down due to fatigue.

Bolt may reach 25 mph during the race, but only for a short time.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:36 PM
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Not even the best sprinters in the world can maintain their top speed very long. As they approach the finish line in the 100 meter dash, they are all slowing down due to fatigue.

Bolt may reach 25 mph during the race, but only for a short time.
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The record was 44.72km/h (27.8 mph), measured between meter 60 and meter 80 of the 100 meters sprint of the World Championships in Berlin on 16 August 2009 by Usain Bolt.[4][5] (Bolt's average speed over the course of this race was 37.58 km/h or 23.35 mph.)
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:45 PM
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School zones around here are only 20 mph, so Bolt could exceed that limit for the full 100 m.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:52 PM
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School zones around here are only 20 mph, so Bolt could exceed that limit for the full 100 m.
The 400 meter record is 43.03, an average of 20.79 mph.
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Old 04-26-2019, 04:55 AM
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I noted they had practice for the Indy500 car race yesterday and Tony Kanaan had a problem with his car's engine leaking oil. So while the other drivers recorded laps with an average speed ranging between 218 MPH and 227 MPH, poor old Tony was recorded as only managing 20.794 MPH.

Obviously Bolt couldn't manage a whole lap but over 100m he is faster than an (as in Tony Kanaan's) IndyCar!

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Old 04-26-2019, 11:15 AM
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Speed limits (and other traffic laws) apply to vehicles on public roadways. So it would depend on the specific state, and their definition of 'vehicle'.

In most states, besides the obvious cars & trucks, it includes bicycles (and sometimes unicycles & tricycles), and even animal-pulled vehicles like horse-drawn carriages (or oxen-pulled carts, or (possible here in Minnesota) dogsleds. But those are unlikely to exceed any speed limits. Secretariat's world records was 37.5 mi/hr, and only for 1.5 miles.)

There have been numerous cases of people ticketed for violating other traffic laws (primarily DUI) while in non-automotive 'vehicles'. Like drunken drivers on horses, on construction vehicles, etc.
I think you will find that is not the case in most states. Most state laws have traffic laws that only cover motor vehicles. As in the vehicle has to have a motor. I know there are a few exceptions but they are exceptions. In my state you most certainly cannot be ticketed for DUI on the horse or a bicycle, or for speeding.
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Old 04-26-2019, 12:16 PM
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^ All states have traffic laws that only cover motor vehicles (such as wearing a seat belt). But if you mean that most states' traffic laws only include motorized vehicles in its traffic laws, that's not true. Even here in NJ "Title 39 - MOTOR VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC REGULATION" includes bicycles, roller skates, etc.

There are about 22 states where it is at least possible to get a DUI while riding a bike.

https://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ug...-the-influence

One of those is our pork roll eatin' neighbor, PA:

https://patch.com/pennsylvania/doyle...d-dui-perkasie

https://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/20...ui-on-bicycle/
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:19 PM
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I think you will find that is not the case in most states. Most state laws have traffic laws that only cover motor vehicles. As in the vehicle has to have a motor. I know there are a few exceptions but they are exceptions. In my state you most certainly cannot be ticketed for DUI on the horse or a bicycle, or for speeding.
The treatment of bicycles in traffic law is a fascinating patchwork state-by-state, and I'm not sure I'd say any blanket statement is true for "most" states.

In NJ, I think the DUI law is expressly 'motor vehicles' so doesn't apply to bicyclists, but I'm not so sure about speeding. I don't know my way around NJ statutes, but New Jersey Statutes Title 39:4-98 ("Rates of speed") refers to 'vehicles' not 'motor vehicles'. So I think a cyclist could be ticketed for speeding. [I eagerly await correction if I'm mistaken]

For other examples, according to https://bikeleague.org/StateBikeLaws (and I've checked it with primary sources for at least one state and it's accurate):

Connecticut includes bicycles in its definition of 'motor vehicle', so a bicyclist certainly could be cited for DUI. In Rhode Island, bicycles are 'vehicles', so bicycle riders also are covered by DUI and other traffic laws (I assume DUI laws cover 'vehicles' generally, and are not restricted to 'motor vehicles'). In Massachusetts, bicycles are not 'vehicles' but are by law expressly subject to traffic laws, however some traffic laws, including DUI, are written to apply to "motor vehicles" which bicycles are not, so no DUI possible for bike riders.
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Old 04-26-2019, 02:49 PM
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My brother was recently planning to visit a local pub for a night of irresponsible drinking. He planned to ride a bike. He first confirmed with one of his cop buddies that in MO you can ride a bicycle as drunk as you like.
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Old 04-26-2019, 03:54 PM
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The treatment of bicycles in traffic law is a fascinating patchwork state-by-state, and I'm not sure I'd say any blanket statement is true for "most" states.

In NJ, I think the DUI law is expressly 'motor vehicles' so doesn't apply to bicyclists, but I'm not so sure about speeding. I don't know my way around NJ statutes, but New Jersey Statutes Title 39:4-98 ("Rates of speed") refers to 'vehicles' not 'motor vehicles'. So I think a cyclist could be ticketed for speeding. [I eagerly await correction if I'm mistaken]

For other examples, according to https://bikeleague.org/StateBikeLaws (and I've checked it with primary sources for at least one state and it's accurate):

Connecticut includes bicycles in its definition of 'motor vehicle', so a bicyclist certainly could be cited for DUI. In Rhode Island, bicycles are 'vehicles', so bicycle riders also are covered by DUI and other traffic laws (I assume DUI laws cover 'vehicles' generally, and are not restricted to 'motor vehicles'). In Massachusetts, bicycles are not 'vehicles' but are by law expressly subject to traffic laws, however some traffic laws, including DUI, are written to apply to "motor vehicles" which bicycles are not, so no DUI possible for bike riders.
In New Jersey there is a separate area in Title 39 that has definitions. Itís not as simple as just reading the one statue.

ĎďVehicle" means every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.í
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Old 04-26-2019, 06:22 PM
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Anybody else remember being told, "Back and walk," in elementary school, for daring to run through the halls?
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Old 04-27-2019, 12:26 AM
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Just a thought - I know you can receive a ticket for breaking the speed limit on a bicycle. But what about on foot, if you can sprint faster than the sign...?
I can sprint faster than a sign. You don't have to run very fast.
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:08 AM
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In New Jersey there is a separate area in Title 39 that has definitions. It’s not as simple as just reading the one statue.

‘“Vehicle" means every device in, upon or by which a person or property is or may be transported upon a highway, excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks or motorized bicycles.’
So what about a horse? Is a horse a "device"?

ETA: And if it is, since a human must speak or kick it to move, does it move under "human power"?

Last edited by UltraVires; 04-27-2019 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 04-27-2019, 01:36 AM
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I recall a guy getting DUI in his wheelchair. He'd ride the parking lanes on his way home after bar time. Swerved into the driving lane and forced a car to take the other lane. LEO saw it.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:29 AM
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I recall a guy getting DUI in his wheelchair. He'd ride the parking lanes on his way home after bar time. Swerved into the driving lane and forced a car to take the other lane. LEO saw it.
I had a similar case with the opposite conclusion. Guy had an electric wheelchair and was kind of a jackass who tended to do this kind of thing on purpose when drunk. After repeated such incidents the prosecutors I worked with (in MI) discussed whether they could charge him with DUI based on the wheelchair being a motorized vehicle. The reluctant consensus was probably not since it was really more his means of locomotion rather rhan transport. However, they could charge him with being drunk and disorderly or a public nuisance or some such.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:35 AM
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In the 90s Indiana removed the "motor" part of the OWI statute so it simply referred to "vehicles". This would include horses and was done intentionally. They had a large Amish population in some areas. There was an incident where a drunken Amish person taking the horse and buggy home passed out at the reins. The horse kept going just fine...but came to an intersection with cars and with no one giving the horse instructions, there was car/horse carnage. The law at the time did not allow the horse driver to be charged with OWI as it referred only to motor vehicles.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:45 AM
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So what about a horse? Is a horse a "device"?
I'm sure horse riding isn't allowed on highways in NJ, except maybe on the shoulder on certain types of highways, but not in a lane, so no.

Quote:
:ETA: And if it is, since a human must speak or kick it to move, does it move under "human power"?
Horses, of course, move under their own power, just like cars do, even though we press the gas pedal. An example of human power is pedaling a bicycle.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:55 AM
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So what about a horse? Is a horse a "device"?

ETA: And if it is, since a human must speak or kick it to move, does it move under "human power"?
I have seen speculation that a horse fits the definition of vehicle but not of a motor vehicle. So that means you canít be cited for DWI but you could be cited for speeding. I donít know of any caselaw that supports that. There is one statute that specifically mentions horses and speed.

Quote:
39:4-100. Rate of speed across sidewalk
No vehicle or horse shall be driven or ridden across a sidewalk at a rate of speed greater than four miles per hour.
Since the legislature deemed it necessary to specify horses separate from vehicles in the statute I would find it reasonable that if horses arenít mentioned in the main speed statute then it doesnít apply.

DWI on a horse was actually a law before cars existed. As far as I can tell it was repealed in the early 70s when there was a big re-organization of the statutes and titles.
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Old 04-27-2019, 09:59 AM
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I'm sure horse riding isn't allowed on highways in NJ, except maybe on the shoulder on certain types of highways, but not in a lane, so no.


Horses, of course, move under their own power, just like cars do, even though we press the gas pedal. An example of human power is pedaling a bicycle.
In the New Jersey motor vehicle code the definition of Highway basically means any public roadway. Itís not what do you think a highway is.

Ď"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.í
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Old 04-27-2019, 10:22 AM
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^ I understand that. Are horses allowed to ride in the main lane of any roadway and not over to the side?
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Old 04-27-2019, 04:16 PM
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Horses, of course, move under their own power, just like cars do, even though we press the gas pedal. An example of human power is pedaling a bicycle.
I understand that, but I could see an argument that a horse does not use its own power unless first started by human power. Of course, the same could be said for a car, so its not the best argument, but lawyers get paid to at least think of this kind of craziness.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:01 PM
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A black man running down the street at 25MPH is more likely to get shot than fined.
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Old 04-28-2019, 04:33 PM
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In Texas, speed limits exist for people operating vehicles (which can include bicycles), so, no, running wouldn't count. I imagine most states would be similar, but laws do sometimes vary in surprising ways by state.
What if he made an illegal lane change to pass a slow vehicle?

He needs running shorts with blinkers.
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Old 04-28-2019, 07:03 PM
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[Moderating]

Peanuthead, that sort of commentary is unrelated to speeding laws, and isn't really appropriate to GQ. Cut it out.
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Old 04-28-2019, 08:35 PM
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[Moderating]

Peanuthead, that sort of commentary is unrelated to speeding laws, and isn't really appropriate to GQ. Cut it out.
Okay boss.
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Old 04-29-2019, 10:18 AM
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A co-worker was cited for doing 42 in a 30-mph zone... on his bicycle. He surmised the radar had reflected off someone going the other way in an auto. He fought it by going to court and saying, "Your honor, if I could pedal a bike at 42-mph, I'd be in the Olympics!" Case dismissed.
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