What’s A “Vehicle”?

From The Perfect Bet: How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling by Adam Kucharski:

In October 1926, airport operator William McBoyle helped arrange the theft of an airplane in Ottawa, Illinois. Although he was convicted under the Motor Vehicle Theft Act, McBoyle appealed the result. His lawyers argued that the act did not explicitly cover airplanes, because it defined a vehicle as “an automobile, automobile truck, automobile wagon, motor cycle, or any other self-propelled vehicle not designed for running on rails.” According to McBoyle’s lawyers, this meant an airplane was not a vehicle, and so McBoyle could not be guilty of the federal crime of transporting a stolen vehicle. The US Supreme Court agreed. They noted that the wording of the law evoked the mental image of vehicles moving on land, so it shouldn’t be extended to aircraft simply because it seemed that a similar rule ought to apply. The conviction was reversed.

Pages 200-201 of the hardcover edition.

It could be argued that the Supreme Court was ignoring the “spirit of the law” but the fine points of legislation actually matter.

That 1926 loophole has probably been corrected.

But the point of this quote is for Bird, Lime, etc, to examine the statutes where they expect to operate. Could it be argued that an electric scooter is not a vehicle and therefore no prior permission is needed to create a market in that locality? This point matters. Because localities could be made to heel under a variety of legal countermeasures challenging their authority.

Previously here:

Chronological List Of Electric Scooter
eScooters category
eSkateboards category

This entry was posted in eScooters, eSkateboards. Bookmark the permalink.

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