In 2013, Texas’ Division of Motor Autos started revoking titles on newly constructed dune buggies. Whereas that was already a little bit of a dick transfer, the state was at the very least ok to grandfather-in current automobiles. Nevertheless, that has modified in current months now that the state’s DMV appears eager on implementing Texas Administrative Rule 217.three (Part 6).
The mandate, which seems solely to exist to make automotive hobbyists unhappy, got here into rule in March of 2015. However it has picked up lot of steam since then, denying titles on dune buggies and equipment automobiles that had beforehand obtained them with out bother. Because of this, fanatics are beginning to manage within the hopes of lobbying the state to re-legalize the automobiles as others dump their beloved rides — fearful that no one would purchase them in Texas since they aren’t street-legal anymore.
Talking with Hemmings Day by day, Adam Shaivitz, a spokesman for the Texas DMV, mentioned the choice to ban dune buggies is “as a result of many of those automobiles would not have key security elements or would not have a physique in any respect. These automobiles, as manufactured, weren’t designed for on-road use. These automobiles, as modified from beforehand manufactured automobiles, additionally don’t preserve their on-road qualities.”
Whereas being cautious about modifications is comprehensible, the general security considerations fall flat in a state the place round 450,000 individuals personal bikes. In actual fact, the final time I rode a motorbike in Texas, I observed the state doesn’t actually have a helmet regulation. I might additionally wager there are extra individuals cruising round on Harley-Davidsons with no protecting lid within the Lone Star State than there are with a Meyers Manx of their storage.
For those who’re considering what this hypocritical regulation says, right here is an excerpt from the dreaded Part 6 that outlines what forms of automobiles are actually unlawful to personal in Texas:
(A) automobiles which can be lacking or are stripped of their motor, body, or physique, to the extent that it materially alters the producer’s unique design or makes the automobile unsafe for onhighway operation as decided by the division;
(B) automobiles designed or decided by the division to be a dune buggy;
(C) automobiles designed or decided by the division to be for onobserve racing, except such automobiles meet Federal Motor Car Security Requirements (FMVSS) for onhighway use and are reported to the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration;
(D) automobiles designed or decided by the division to be for offhighway use solely, except particularly outlined as a “motorcar” in Transportation Code, Chapter 501
Vincent Parisien, the president of the Manx Membership, mentioned that the title revocations and the ban on dune buggy are basically discriminatory practices. “We’re not about making the streets extra harmful,” he mentioned. “Our members are prepared to undergo all the identical security requirements as different automobiles.”
I might additionally recommend the ban establishes a reasonably harmful precedent in opposition to auto enthusiasm. It wouldn’t be inconceivable for somebody to suggest related a ban on all modified automobiles or bikes on the grounds that they have been “unsafe” and utilizing the dune buggy title revocations for example.
Faron Smith, founding father of the Save the Texas Dune Buggy Fb group, has began a GoFundMe marketing campaign to boost sufficient cash to rent a lobbyist to work on behalf of Texan dune-buggy and kit-car fanatics. The person chosen for the job, Ron Hinkle, has earlier expertise working with the State of Texas to legalize the Polaris Slingshot.
“We undoubtedly see this occurring in different states,” Hinkle mentioned. “If Texas deems this as the proper option to function then different states will accomplish that as properly.”
In the meantime, Manx Membership officers have reached out to Texas State Consultant Ed Thompson, who has requested the Texas DMV rescind its ban on buggies. Hemmings mentioned they’ve additionally sought assist from the SEMA Motion Community and the Historic Car Affiliation. They may in all probability use no matter assist you’ll be able to supply.
[Illustration: Matt Posky; Image: Ariel Motor Company]