The New York State Senate Transportation Committee today moved legislation sponsored by Sen. Aubertine (S.4277) that would allow all-terrain vehicle riders to legally register and ride side-by-side ATVs on trail systems throughout the state.
The committee voted 16-1, meaning the billâ€”which has an Assembly sponsorâ€”will be eligible for consideration soon on the Senate floor.
â€œThese vehicles have grown in popularity and under current law cannot be registered,â€ Sen. Aubertine said. â€œMoving this legislation out of committee today is a critical step to seeing this bill signed into law this year. Many enthusiasts are using these vehicles on the trails and registering them in other states because they want to be in compliance with the law in some way, even if our current laws do not recognize these vehicles.â€
Law enforcement officials and riders from across the state, including Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence counties, have asked Sen. Aubertine to carry this legislation. It would limit ATVs to 70 inches wide and increase the dry weight limit for ATVs from 1,000 lbs to 1,500 lbs, making side-by-sides and other utility terrain vehicles used on farms and for work purposes legal for registration with the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Like other ATVs, these vehicles would remain limited for use on trails and private property.
This increased weight limit for these slower vehicles would increase revenues brought in by registrations, open up markets for these vehicles and clear up confusion for law enforcement.
â€œThis is the right thing to do for riders, for law enforcement and for our economy,â€ Sen. Aubertine said. â€œThe weight limit in statute now does not cover side-by-sides and it should. These vehicles are used on our farms, enable seniors to enjoy the outdoors and allow families to bring younger riders out to enjoy the trails. We should not exclude these vehicles from the trail systems open to ATVs or deny owners the chance to register their vehicle. Pennsylvania registers these vehicles and we should here in New York State as well.”