3 minutes reading time (687 words)

[2011] Assembly Bill 327 - Age Restrictions and Safety Certificate Requirement Regarding the Operation of ATVs

This bill allows a person under the age of 12 to operate an ATV any place that any other person may operate an ATV provided that the person under the age of 12 is operating a small ATV and he or she is accompanied, and not just supervised, by his or her parent or guardian or a person who is at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian (accompanied by a parent or designee).

Under current law, no person under the age of 12 may operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) unless he or she is operating the ATV for an agricultural purpose and he or she is under the supervision of a person over 18 years of age (agricultural purpose exception), or unless he or she is operating a small ATV on an ATV trail designated by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and he or she is accompanied by his or her parent. Current law defines "accompanied" to mean subject to continuous verbal direction or control. Under current law, supervision is a lesser standard because it does not require a person to be subject to continuous direction and control. Under an exception to the age restrictions in current law, a person who is under the age of 12 may operate any ATV if the person operates the ATV exclusively on land under the management and control of the person's immediate family (family property exception).

This bill allows a person under the age of 12 to operate an ATV any place that any other person may operate an ATV provided that the person under the age of 12 is operating a small ATV and he or she is accompanied, and not just supervised, by his or her parent or guardian or a person who is at least 18 years old who is designated by the parent or guardian (accompanied by a parent or designee).

This bill maintains the agricultural purpose exception in current law so that a person under the age of 12 may still operate an ATV of any size for an agricultural purpose if he or she is under the supervision of a person over 18 years of age. The bill also maintains the family property exception so that a person under the age of 12 need not operate a small ATV or be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or other person in order to operate an ATV on land under the management and control of his or her immediate family.

Current law imposes certain restrictions on the operation of an ATV on a roadway. One of those restrictions prohibits a person under the age of 12 from operating an ATV on a roadway unless the agricultural purpose exception applies and the ATV is not an implement of husbandry. This bill prohibits a person who is under the age of 12 from operating an ATV on a roadway, regardless of the purpose. The bill prohibits a person who is under 16 years of age from operating an ATV on a roadway for nonagricultural purposes unless the person is at least 12 years of age and is accompanied by a parent or designee.

Under current law, no person who is at least 12 years of age and who was born on or after January 1, 1988 may operate an ATV unless he or she holds a valid safety certificate issued by DNR that indicates that the person successfully completed a program of instruction on ATV laws and safety. A person who operates an ATV exclusively on land under the management and control of the person's immediate family is exempt from this requirement. This bill creates an additional exemption. The bill provides that a person is exempt from the safety certificate requirement if the person operates an ATV at a sponsored ATV demonstration event, the sponsor of the event requires the person to wear protective headgear, and the person operates
the ATV in a closed-course area at a speed not exceeding 15 miles per hour. If the person is under 18 years of age, the person must be accompanied by a parent or designee.

[2013] Assembly Bill 261 - Remove Agricultural Reg...
[2009] Assembly Bill 356 - Modifying the Definitio...

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