Ohio Senate Bill 137 seems innocuous enough, requiring drivers to leave the lane open between traffic and highway maintenance crews, until you read the fine print meant to block Tesla Motors direct sales in the State of Ohio.
What does Tesla Motors direct sales approach have to do with Bill 137, which covers traffic law? Not a darned thing but, I’m thinking that, following this logic, I could add an amendment regarding sugar and salt content in fast food to a bill regarding the sale of alcohol to minors? Why not? Apparently, the Ohio automobile dealer associations [ADA] figured that they could sneak this one in under the noses of senators considering a bill sure to pass with flying colors.
Remember, Bill 137 is meant to protect highway workers, but check out the text of the amendment…
517.12 Denial of license as motor vehicle dealer, motor vehicle leasing dealer, manufactured home broker, or motor vehicle auction owner.
(A) The registrar of motor vehicles shall deny the application of any person for a license as a motor vehicle dealer… refuse to issue the license if the registrar finds that the applicant… (11) Is a manufacturer or a subsidiary, parent, or affiliated entity of a manufacturer.
Of course, the amendment can’t specifically name Tesla Motors, but its fairly clear who the prohibition is meant to apply to. After all, there are exactly zero other automakers trying to open up dealerships anywhere else in the country. In any case, the Ohio ADA’s amendment was defeated, while the rest of the law, presumably, went on to protect the men and women working alongside State highways. Tesla Motors has also won out against the ADAs in other states, including Virginia, Minnesota, and Massachusetts, but has run up against difficulties in Texas and New York.