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January 23, 2006

Silly Government Tricks

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If you live in Kansas, did you know that your state apparatchiks have decided that, despite the fact that others states allow it, and that they actually meet safety and roadability regs in place when built - you can't register something like a White Scout Car or Ferret in the state? I suppose on the plus side, it also mean they can't property tax you, either.

These things are registerable in other states. I have seen several (and ridden in one and followed it through downtown Atlanta traffic - see pic linked above) that are registered (and legal) in Georgia. This all arose from the efforts of a local KC man to register his Ferret (we're not talking tanks, here, people - there are SUVs bigger than a Ferret). This was seen tootling down a road in the PacNorthwest and the cop saw it as a photo opportunity, not a reason to call for air cover.

Those of us who collect aren't taking this lying down, as some unelected state officials make rulings based on ignorance, and yes, unreasoning angst. Rather than take up a lot of space with this, I'll put the rest in the Flash Traffic/Extended Entry.

This is the *newly-minted* state policy it starts and ends with commentary from the Kansan trying to register his vehicle):


The State of Kansas has provided me with a "official" copy of a policy declaring a Ferret, and everything else armored, unfit for licensing in Kansas. First the letter from Mr. Moser:

Dear Mr. Wallace,

Enclosed you will find a copy of the Director of Vehicles Declaration regarding the registration of privately owned armored military combat vehicles you requested. In view of the lawful declaration issued by the director, the Division of Vehicles considers this matter closed and no further correspondence will be
responded to. Thank you for you interest and attention.

Sincerely, Mathew H. Moser, Manager, Titles and Registrations Bureau, Division of Vehicles

Now we have the policy. The emphasis is mine!


DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, DIVIS ION OF VEHICLES

POLICY DECLARATION 06-01

PRIVATELY OWNED SURPLUS ARMORED MILITARY COMBAT VEHICLES

Whereas armored military combat vehicles are not manufactured or intended for general transportation purposes or use by the public on public reads and includes: tanks, half-tracks, armored personnel carriers, self-propelled artillery and armored anti-tank or scout vehicles.

Whereas privately owned surplus armored military combat vehicles are not manufactured with proper safety equipment and pose a traffic hazard if operated on public roads.

Whereas privately owned surplus armored military combat vehicles are dedicated weapons of war with no private adaptable civilian purpose.

Whereas privately owned surplus armored military combat vehicles are a cause of concern for law enforcement and homeland security.

Whereas the Division of Vehicles is to exercise administrative functions and authority for the development of vehicle registration policy.

NOW THEREFORE pursuant to K.S.A. 8-127(a), and the authority vested in me as the Director of Vehicles, I declare it shall be the policy of the Division of Vehicles not to permit privately owned surplus armored military combat vehicles application for registration. Any operation of privately owned surplus military combat vehicles on public roads shall be in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 8-2002(a)(3) and under the regulation of local authorities permitting or prohibiting processions or assemblages on the highways.

I hereby direct the Titles and Registrations Bureau to make available copies of this policy to all county and state motor vehicle offices and personnel charged with the administration of motor vehicle registrations. This policy declaration shall be filed at the Titles and Registrations Bureau and is effective November 18, 2005.

Signed: Carmen Aldrett, Director of Motor Vehicles

Now some observations. First, Mr. Moser is getting tired of the pressure, and won't respond any more. Little does he know that others will be in contact.

Second, look carefully at the policy. It is Policy #06-01. Perhaps the Division of Motor Vehicles thinks that we are all dummies, and that they can pull one over on us. I am willing to bet 00DC81 that this policy was entered into official Kansas records NO EARLIER than the date that my letter requesting the written policy arrived. That would be around the first few days of January. Their policy numbers relate to 1) the year of issuance, and 2) the sequential number of
the policy. I am positive that this policy was not created back on November 18th as stated in both the policy and the hand written same date on the policy by the Director. THERE WAS NO POLICY IN 2005.

THIS WAS THE FIRST POLICY CREATED IN 2006, #06-1

The language of the policy is also very disturbing. Note that "homeland security" is mentioned. Well, read it for yourself. This is a very, very dangerous policy if allowed to stand. There was no mention of the name of their legal advisor that I asked for. I guess we will have to find that out ourselves.

I will also post this to other military lists. Copies have been sent to Mr. McManus (Consumer Affairs Advocate) at Hagerty Insurance and the MVPA Board of Directors.

So now begins the fight!

Next step:

Ok folks heres the latest: My Day in the Trenches

This AM I rec'd a phone call from C Varner Pres MVPA. I related to him what is spelled out in earlier posts. He agreed that handling this first through cordial calls to state elected officials might produce a favorable result and encouraged me to bring Kay at MVPA HQ up to speed by relating all details to her. This was done so she could give accurate information to those members calling in.
This afternoon my state rep John Edmonds and the Chairman of the House Transportation Committee Gary Hayzlett met with a Matthew Moser whos name is connected with the policy against historic combat vehicles. Mr Edmonds related the conversation as not very informative and that several "reasons" for the policy were given but all were rebutted by Hayzlett/Edmonds. Plans for a meeting tomorrow or Monday involving several key members of House Transportation, KDOT Kansas Dept of Trans officials, Dept of Motor Vehicles officials, as well as Highway Patrol officers are being firmed up yet tonight.
Rep Edmonds has asked that I call upon any Kansas citizens MVPA members etc. to this evening contact their state elected rep and senators and tell them that Edmonds and Hayzlett need their support on this issue and to contact their offices first thing tomorrow AM 20 Jan'y 06. This is no time to check your shoelaces we need to bring some feet to the fire ASAP. If you are reading this and are from Kansas please make a respectful phone call to your elected officials tonight, or tomorrow morning call the state capital and ask for their office. Keep the call brief and simply state that a motor vehicle policy is running amuck and you think vintage combat vehicles have every right to be driven responsibly on our roads.

Tell your officials to get their details from Edmonds/ Hayzlett's offices don't add details which might confuse the issue. You will all have my THANKS ahead of time. Kevin Lockwood

The referenced meetings have already passed - but you can still contact your local politicos, as the MVPA and others intend to solve this through the legislature.

As I noted earlier, things like White Scout Cars, Daimler Dingos, Daimler Ferrets, Humber Pigs, etc - are smaller-than-SUV to Brinks Armored Truck sized. It's one thing to require them to have headlights, taillights, brake lights, etc, and sufficient mirrors or windows for rear views. But that isn't really the reason they are being banned (most of these vehicles were designed to operate on regular roadways, in traffic). This is more about "I don't think you should have these things, they scare me, and what's more, I won't take a risk of allowing it over my signature because someone somewhere might misuse it, and I would get the blame. So make me - that way I'm covered" than it is good policy.

Comes the Collecting Community - to see if we can't make them work up some good policy.

As for "not adaptable to civil use" they haven't seen the half-tracks and yes, tanks, that farmers bought and converted to farm implements - heck, the Russians *market* their surplus T-55s as tractors (less guns, less turrets if you don't want 'em).