Off-road bills, a state by state guide

The following report highlights a selection of key OHV/Land Use legislation introduced by lawmakers in 2004 or carried over from 2003. The status of these proposals may have changed.
For updates regarding legislation of interest, click the “Rights” link at the American Motorcyclist Association Web site, www.amadirectlink.com.
Also check out the BlueRibbon Coalition, www.sharetrails.org, for a Recreational Activists Toolkit; and visit the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America, www.svia.org, for model state ATV legislation.

CALIFORNIA SB554
Renames the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission to the Off-Road Vehicle Recreation Commission. Increases Commission membership from 7 to 11; changes members appointed by Governor from three to seven.

COLORADO HB1113
Requires ORVs to be titled; amends motor vehicle definition to include off-road vehicles for titling purposes. Requires, on and after Jan. 1, 2005, ORVs and snowmobiles sold of transferred be issued certificate of title.

FLORIDA SB1526
Awaiting introduction, this bill adds definition for “two rider ATV” to mean any ATV specifically designed for a single operator plus one passenger.

GEORIGA HB260
Prohibits operation of off-road vehicle on any paved public highway or any unpaved public highway in state or federal parklands unless registered under on-highway laws.

ILLINOIS SB310
Requires $2 collected from each certificate of title or duplicate or corrected certificate deposited in the Park & Conservation Fund to be used for acquisition and development of recreational paths or trails, whereas it previously only required bike paths.

ILLINOIS HB2266
Prohibits administration expenses for Rec. Trails Act to exceed 5% of fund.

ILLINOIS HB2816
Allows trail funding for motorized trails on DNR land.

ILLINOIS SB525
Requires ATVs to be numbered after authorization from Secretary of State.

ILLINOIS SB570
Prohibits ATV operators under 18, unless accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.

INDIANA SB394
Requires DNR to adopt rules for establishment and implementation of comprehensive off-road vehicle safety education and training program; content of classes to be adopted from curriculum developed by nationally recognized ORV safety organization.

IOWA HB198
Allows an ATV to be operated on a highway within a city with a population of less than 2,000, with provisions.

IOWA HB374
Amends maximum ATV weight from less than 750 lbs. to less than 850 lbs.; allows passengers if vehicle is so designed.

IOWA HB537
Provides that OHV registration fees are appropriated for the establsihment, maintenance and operation of not-for-profit OHV recreational riding areas through DNR grants.

IOWA SB72
Appropriates $775,000 for ATV programs from general fund to special conservation fund, replacing money that was transferred out of the fund in 2002.

IOWA SB126
Exempts person under the age of 16 who is operating an ATV for agricultural purposes from obtaining an ATV safety certificate.

KENTUCKY HB155
Repeals ATV helmet use exemptions for those involved in trades; prohibits ATV operation by those under age 16.
MAINE HB631
Increases ATV registration fee from $17 to $25, except if residence belongs to ATV club or organization; allows law enforcement to impound an ATV for certain violations.

MAINE HB1241
Requires ATVs and snowmobiles to be covered by liability insurance in the amounts of $50,000/100,000/25,000 by June 30, 2005.

MAINE SB640
Permits landowner to regulate ATV operation.

MASSACHUSETTS HB971
Requires Dept. of Environmental Management to construct and maintain trails for trail motorcycles and ATVs. Defines “trail maintenance assessment” as a permit issued to trail motorcycles by MA Division of New England Trail Riders Assn. (NETRA), granting use of motorcycle trails and ATV trails on public property. Requires OHVs to display trails maintenance assessment decal, excpet on private property.

MASSACHUSETTS HB1909
Prohibits business to sell a recreational vehicle containing a two-stroke engine after June 1, 2004.

MICHIGAN HB4492
Allows person age 60 and over with disability to operate OHV on non-designated trail, route or area to access a designated riding area.

MICHIGAN HB4871
Increases revenue in ORV trail improvements fund to be distributed from not less than 2.5% to not less than 12.5%, with funds to be used for land restoration.

MINNESOTA HB1718
Amends ATV definition to increase maximum displacement from 800cc to 900cc; permits OHV use on forest land classified as “managed”; prohibits OHV use in certain unfrozen public wetlands; establishes eligibility requirements for OHV organizations to receive grants; requires vehicles to display registration decals unless on private property or in competition; permits person 18 years of age or older to carry a passenger age 18 or older; and requires commissioners of DNR, Revenue and Transportation, by March 2005, to jointly determine amount of unrefunded gas tax to be attributed to ATV use.

NEBRASKA LB700
Creates a class ATV license authorizing use on public roadways; allows dealers and manufacturers to operate vehicles on public roadways with appropriate tags.

NEW HAMPSHIRE HB152
Provides towns and cities shall not have authority to regulate landowner permission for public OHRV trail use and development given to OHRV clubs if such use is in compliance with state statute.

NEW HAMPSHIRE HB517
Requires full-year 2005 and 2006 funds received by the Dept. of Resources and Economic Development to be made available for grants to the Granite State ATV Association for development, printing and distribution related to a publication sent to registered motorcycle and ATV riders; and to OHRV clubs for membership and development promotion.

NEW JERSEY AB791
Establishes penalties for ATV operation on public streets and rights-of-way.

NEW MEXICO SB174
Would enact a comprehensive Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act (see pg. 12)

NEW YORK AB1136
Establishes the ATV Trail Development & Maintenance Fund in joint custody of the Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the State Controller (ATV definition includes off-road motorcycles). The Fund is to be used for the purchase, lease, or other acquisition of private property, and for maintenance and development of ATV trails open to public or on private property held by local governments.

NEW YORK AB1431
Prohibits importation, manufacture, sale, offer for sale or distribution of any consumer product which fails to conspicuously disclose the name and primary address of the product manufacturer.

NEW YORK AB1589
Requires front and rear OHV plates; authorizes ATV impoundment for riding violations.

NORTH CAROLINA HB473
Directs the Legislative Research Commission to study ATV registration and regulation, including appropriate fee for registration; regulation of use; and the adherence of rules designed to ensure safe operation; and restrict ATV use to areas where it is appropriate and permitted.

PENNSYLVANIA HB173
Requires that $1 million of taxes paid on fuel used in the operation of OHVs be refunded to ATV and snowmobile grants for the construction, reconstruction and maintenance of designated trails and bridges.

PENNSYLVANIA HB2261
Defines “Dirt Bike”; requires dirt bikes to be registered and insured.

SOUTH CAROLINA SB241
Creates a State Interagency Committee to study OHV trail opportunities on state-owned, leased and private land for motorcycle and ATV use.

SOUTH CAROLINA SB392
Defines ATV as a motor vehicle measuring 50 inches or less in width, having a dry weight of 600 lbs. or less with other provisions. Requires ATVs to be titled and registered; exempts ATVs from city and county taxes.

TENNESSEE SB875
Defines “OHV”; authorizes Director of TN Wildlife Resources Agency to implement OHV program; develop an OHV education program, study impact, develop land selection criteria, acquire those lands, maintain a list of all access lands, make management agreements; and conduct inspections.

UTAH HB51
Requires nonresident owning an OHV operating that OHV in Utah to pay a $30 annual user fee. Also requires revenue generated by OHV user fees to be used for construction, improvement, operation and maintenance of OHV trails.

VERMONT HB177
Requires ATV application by person under age 18 be signed by parent or guardian, who would be subject to and civil penalty assessed against minor registrant. Also requires TV operators on public property to wear a helmet.

VERMONT HB290
Imposes surtax of 1% of purchase price on sale of two-stroke snowmobiles, ATVs and PWC. Surtax revenue to be deposited in fish and wildlife fund.

WASHINGTON HB2356
Makes it a traffic infraction to operate any non-highway vehicle on lands not owned by the operator or on highways. Allows OHV operation upon nonhighway road if serving a designated OHV area.

WASHINGTON HB2413
Makes it a traffic violation to operate an OHV in a repetitive manner within 250’ of neighboring residence or barn, on a track, for purposes of recreation or practicing for races, jumps, tests o similar purposes.

WASHINGTON HB2858
Enacts SVIA Model ATV safety legislation.

WEST VIRGINIA HB 4022
Regulates ATV use; requires safety training. Signed into law (see pg. 12).

WISCONSIN AB159
Allows municipalities to enact ordinance allowing ATV operation on roadway ad shoulder of highway for purpose of residential access; prohibits children under age 12 from operating ATV on roadway, and children at least age 12 by under age 16 from operating on a roadway without a valid ATV safety certificate.

WISCONSIN AB596
Increases TV registration fees and creates non-resident trail pass. Would also require any person born on or after January 1988 to hold a safety certificate, except when operating on private land. Prohibits manufacture, sale, rental or operation of ATV constructed to emit noise exceeding 96 db; increases penalties for ATV operation while intoxicated; and requires the Dept. of Tourism to expend not more than $30,000 to investigate the impact of recreational ATV operation on statewide tourism and economic development. psb

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