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      RS 47:451     




§451. Definitions and terms

            The following words and phrases, when used in this Chapter, shall, for the purpose of this Chapter, have the meaning respectively ascribed to them in this Section, except in those instances where the context clearly discloses and indicates a different meaning.

            (1) "Boat trailer" means a noncommercial vehicle of the trailer or semitrailer type used solely and exclusively for transporting pleasure watercraft and having a loaded gross weight of not more than one thousand five hundred pounds.

            (2) "Bus" or "passenger coach" (which terms shall be synonymous) means every motor-propelled vehicle, with a capacity of more than seven (7) persons, constructed and designed for purpose of transporting persons for commercial purposes.

            (3) "Combination of vehicles" or "train of vehicles" are synonymous terms which mean every group or train of two or more vehicles, however connected, fastened, or joined together, which are drawn or propelled by a single motor vehicle.

            (4) "Commercial use", means every use of a vehicle on the highway, except its private use unrelated to any business function, or its use as a common carrier or a contract or charter carrier.

            (5) "Commercial vehicle" means every vehicle used or operated upon the public highways in connection with any business function except that of a common carrier or a contract or charter carrier, and except vehicles owned and used by churches, church schools, and religious orders for their purposes.

            (6) "Commissioner" means the secretary of the Department of Public Safety as provided for in R.S. 40:1301.

            (7) "Dealer" means every person engaged regularly in the business of buying, selling, or exchanging motor vehicles, trailers, semitrailers, trucks, tractors, or other character of commercial or industrial motor vehicles in this state, and having an established place of business in this state, and using a special license plate issued hereunder solely for or in the bona fide transaction of such business and not otherwise, howsoever, or by whomsoever.

            (8) "Department" means the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, acting directly through its duly authorized officers and agents, or whatever state board, official, or body may hereafter be authorized by law to exercise the functions now devolving upon it under the law.

            (9) "Essential parts" means all integral parts and body parts, the removal, alteration or substitution of which will tend to conceal the identity or substantially alter the appearance of the vehicle.

            (10) "Farm tractor" means every motor vehicle, designed and used primarily as a farm implement, for drawing plows, mowing machines, and other implements of husbandry.

            (11) "Farm truck", "farm trailer", and "farm semitrailer" mean such motor trucks, trailers, and semitrailers, and tandem trucks as are owned by persons engaged in the business of actually farming and used exclusively in carrying farm produce raised on their farms from such farms to market and returning therefrom carrying goods and merchandise back to their farms.

            (12) "Fixed termini" and "regular route" mean points or routes between or over which any motor carrier usually or ordinarily operates or holds out to operate any motor vehicles, even though there may be occasional or casual departures from such routes or termini, whether such occasional or casual departures be periodic or temporary.

            (13) "Foreign vehicles" means every motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which shall be brought into the state otherwise than in the ordinary course of business by or through a manufacturer or dealer and which had not been registered in this state.

            (14) "Gross weight" means the weight of a vehicle or vehicle combination without load on all axles, including the steering axle plus the weight of any load thereon.

            (15) "Highway" includes every way or place of whatever nature open to the use of the public, for the purpose of vehicular travel.

            (16) "Light trailer" means every vehicle of the trailer or semitrailer type and having a loaded gross weight of not more than five hundred pounds.

            (17) "Manufacturer" means every person engaged in the business of designing, manufacturing, constructing or assembling new motor vehicles, trailers or semitrailers.

            (18) "Military surplus motor vehicle" means a wheeled, multipurpose or tactical motor vehicle manufactured for, and sold directly to, the Armed Forces of the United States in conformity with contractual specifications and subsequently authorized for sale to civilians. "Military surplus motor vehicle" does not include mobile construction equipment, trailers, or semitrailers.

            (19) "Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, except any such vehicles as may be included within the classification "tractor," as herein defined.

            (20) "Motor carrier" means any person, or lessees, agents, assigns, transferees or receivers of such person appointed by any court whatsoever, or their representatives or other person, whomsoever, owning, controlling, managing, operating, or causing to be used or operated any motor propelled vehicle used in the transportation of persons or property for compensation, charge or hire over the public highways whether as common carrier, contract or charter carrier or as transportation agency or howsoever utilizing said public facilities for private gain to be realized chiefly out of such transportation, where, in the course of such transportation, a public highway between two or more incorporated cities, towns or villages is traversed. The term "Motor carrier", as used in this Chapter shall not include and this Chapter shall not apply to motor vehicles operated exclusively within the corporate limits of incorporated municipalities or to the vehicles of private persons transporting only the property of such private persons or their family, bona fide friends, or guests and not including such vehicles as are embraced in the proviso to paragraph (7)(a)(b) of this Section.

            (21) "Motor fuel" means every kind and character of fuel used in the operation of a motor vehicle and embraces every such fuel contemplated by Chapter 7 of this Sub-title.

            (22) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle, as herein defined, which is self propelled.

            (23) "Nonresident" means every person who is not a resident of this state but does not include persons dwelling outside of this state whose occupation or business requires them to spend one-half or more of their working hours in this state in pursuance of their business or employment.

            (24) "Owner" means a person who holds the legal title to a vehicle or in the event a vehicle is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale, lease, or transfer of the possession, howsoever, thereof with right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with the right of immediate possession vested in such vendee, lessee, possessor, or in the event such similar transaction is had by means of mortgage and the mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession, then such conditional vendee or lessee or possessor or mortgagor shall be deemed the owner for the purpose of this Chapter. The term "owner" shall also mean the lessee or user of a vehicle which is legally in the custody of such lessee or user.

            (25) "Person" means every natural person, individual, firm, copartnership, corporation, company, association, or joint stock association or other organization.

            (26) "Pneumatic tires" means all tires inflated with compressed air.

            (27) "Reconstructed vehicle" means any vehicle which shall have been assembled or constructed largely and by means of essential parts, new or used, derived from other vehicles or makes of vehicles of various names, models, and types, or which, if originally otherwise constructed, shall have been materially altered by the removal of essential parts, new or used, derived from other vehicles or makes of vehicles.

            (28) "Road machinery" means all vehicles constructed, designed, and used solely for the purpose of constructing, erecting, repairing, maintaining, demolishing or upkeeping of public roads, highways, and bridges, and not including vehicles temporarily or casually so used, constructed, or designed, or vehicles not intended to be so constructed, designed, and used or vehicles merely converted or susceptible to such use occasionally or vehicles so altered as to avoid and evade the registration or classification otherwise properly applicable thereto.

            (29) "Road tractor" means every motor vehicle designed, constructed or used either by itself or for drawing other vehicles used in the construction and maintenance of roads, highways, or streets and not so constructed as to carry any load thereon either independently or as a part of the weight of a vehicle or load so drawn.

            (30) "Semitrailer" means every single vehicle without motive power designed for carrying property or passengers and so designed in conjunction and used with a motor vehicle that some part of its own weight and that of its own load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle and having itself one or more load-carrying axles.

            (31) "Single axle" means an assembly of two or more wheels, whose centers are in one transverse vertical plane or may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

            (32) "Solid rubber tires" means every tire made of rubber other than pneumatic tires.

            (33) "Solid tires" means all tires the surface of which in contact with the highway is wholly or partly of metal or other hard, nonresilient material.

            (34) "Specially constructed vehicle" means any vehicle which shall not have been originally constructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generally recognized manufacturer of vehicles.

            (35) "Tandem axle" means any two or more consecutive axles whose centers are more than forty inches but not more than ninety-six inches apart, which are individually attached to and/or articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle, including a connecting mechanism designed to equalize the load between axles.

            (36) "Tandem truck" means every motor propelled single vehicle designed for the conveyance of property or things for hauling purposes and having one front or steering axle and two rear or load carrying axles, even though one of said load carrying axles is not permanently affixed to the frame of the vehicle and may be removed therefrom.

            (37) "Tractor" means every vehicle designed, constructed, or used for drawing other vehicles.

            (38) "Trailer" means every single vehicle without motive power designed for carrying property or passengers wholly on its own structure and designed to be drawn by a truck, tractor, or another motor vehicle and having two or more load carrying axles.

            (39) "Truck" means every motor propelled single vehicle for the conveyance of property or things for hauling purposes and having one front or steering axle and one rear or load carrying axle.

            (40) "Truck-tractor" means a motor vehicle designed and used primarily for drawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than a part of the weight of the vehicle and load drawn.

            (41) "Vehicle" means every device in, upon, or by which any person, property, or thing is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway excepting devices moved by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks; provided, that for the purpose of this Chapter, a bicycle or a ridden animal shall not be deemed a vehicle, and provided further that a trailer or semitrailer shall be held and deemed each to be and constitute a separate vehicle.

            Amended by Acts 1972, No. 96, §5, eff. Jan. 1, 1973; Acts 1977, No. 113, §2, eff. June 22, 1977; Acts 1977, No. 443, §1; Acts 1978, No. 502, §1; Acts 1995, No. 701, §2; Acts 2018, No. 675, §2.

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