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Washington, DC: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety
Commission (CPSC) voted unanimously (5-0) last month to
extend a stay of enforcement on testing and certification of many
regulated children’s products, which includes youth model-motorcycles
and ATVs. While enforcement of specific CPSC testing requirements has
been stayed, the products must still comply with all applicable rules
Additionally, the Commission voted (4-1) to extend the stay on
certification and third party testing for children’s products subject
to lead content limits until February 10, 2011. Under this decision,
products must still meet the 300 ppm (parts per million) lead limit
now, but certification and third party testing to show compliance
will be required for all children’s products manufactured after
February 10, 2011.
Hollister, Calif.: Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Clear Creek Draft
Plan public meeting schedule released. The
BLM Hollister Field Office will host three public meetings to gather
comments on the Clear Creek Management Area Draft Resource Management
Plan (RMP) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in January 2010.
Each public meeting will begin with an open house where the
public can gather information, talk with BLM specialists, and provide
written comments on the draft RMP/EIS. Following the open house, the
BLM will give a brief introduction followed by an opportunity for the
public to provide oral comments on the draft RMP/EIS. Although oral
comments will be noted on flip charts, BLM will only respond to
written public comments in the proposed RMP and final EIS.
Each public meeting will take place from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Jan. 13, 2010: Harris Ranch Garden Ballroom, 24505 W. Dorris Ave.,
Jan. 14, 2010: Veterans Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito St.
Jan. 20, 2010: Santa Clara Convention Center, Great America Meeting
Great America Parkway, Santa Clara, Calif.
For additional information contact the Hollister Field Office at
(831) 630-5000. The draft RMP/EIS is available for public review
Kern County, Calif.: Judge orders closure of
popular off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails in Mojave
Desert. An administrative law judge has rescinded a Bureau of Land
Management (BLM) decision to open two OHV trails in the Mojave
Desert. The decision from the Interior Department’s Interior Board of
Land Appeals (IBLA) upholds an appeal brought by the Center for
Biological Diversity, which argued the plan to open two routes in the
Rand Mountain Management Area of Kerns County was flawed.
David Briery, a spokesman in BLM’s California Desert district, said
his office had not yet seen the IBLA ruling and that Interior
attorneys would determine the agency’s next move in the coming
Tracy, Calif.: Carnegie State Vehicle Recreation Area
(SVRA) focus of lawsuit. Recently, Judge Frank Roesch of the
Alameda Superior Court indicated his intent to sign an order that
would effectively close the SVRA to public use by directing the
suspension of all off-highway vehicle (OHV) activity.
In response, California State Parks went to court to request a
stay to delay an immediate closure of the park. The judge granted a
stay, delaying closure of the park until the end of business on
Dec. 29, 2009.
On Thursday Dec. 24th, the Attorney General’s office filed a petition
with the First District Court of Appeals, in San Francisco. This
action requested an immediate stay of the closure order until the
Court of Appeals has time to review the lower court’s decision.
On Monday, Dec. 28th, the First District Court of Appeals, in San
Francisco, issued a "temporary stay", as requested by the
Attorney General’s office on behalf of California State Parks. The
order from the Appellate Court prevents enforcement of the lower
court ruling that would have closed the park on Dec. 29th. Plaintiffs
in the case now have until Jan. 6, 2010 to respond to the petition
filed by the Attorney General and demonstrate why there would be
irreparable harm, if any, from permitting or prohibiting OHV activity
in the park, until the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control
Board takes action on the Report of Waste Discharge filed by State
Parks. California State Parks has until Jan. 11 to respond to the
plaintiff’s brief. The park remains open until the Court of Appeals
renders its final decision.
For further info visit http://www.ohv.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=26096
and the recently launched www.CarnegieForever.org,
which includes a petition and links to current information.
San Bernardino, Calif.: A requirement that 10
or more people must obtain a $155 permit to use OHVs on
private property could soon be erased from county code. Morongo
Basin’s county supervisors Neil Derry and Brad Mitzelfelt plan to
recommend removing the staging-permit requirement from San Bernardino
County’s OHV code, which was passed in 2006. Under the current
ordinance, groups of 10 to 199 people gathering to use OHVs must
obtain a temporary special-event permit.
The new language allows a gathering without a permit as long as the
event occurs on a lot of at least 2 1/2 acres, is consistent with the
other provisions in the ordinance and lasts four consecutive days or
less within a 30-day period. In the past three years, six people have
received a total of 14 permits, a number the supervisors say is so
low that it proves the permit itself is not necessary.
Oregon: New OHV rules took effect on January 1,
2010. Changes in state law will require children under age 16 to be
secured by proper restraints while riding in class I and class II
vehicles mandated to have seatbelts. Class II vehicles include jeeps,
trucks or side-by-side vehicles used for off-highway riding. Class I
vehicles that are affected include youth-sized, side-by-side
all-terrain vehicles that weigh 800 pounds or less and have
seatbelts. Riders in class I quads and three-wheelers, ATVs weighing
less than 800 pounds, are exempt from the law.
The change in the helmet requirement mandates that youths under 18
must wear fastened, DOT-approved helmets while riding in any class of
OHV not registered by the Division of Motor Vehicles. Anyone riding
in a registered, street-legal class II ATV that leaves the highway is
Both changes resulted from legislation passed in the 2009 legislative
session and signed into law by Gov. Ted Kulongoski. The new safety
restraint requirements were carried in Senate Bill 579. The amended
off-highway helmet requirement was passed in Senate Bill 583.
Anyone with questions can call the Parks and Recreation Department
hotline at 1-877-7SAFELY (1-877-772-3359), email them at
or visit www.oregonohv.org
for more information.
Indiana: Senate Bill 111, introduced by Sen. Timothy Lanane
(D-Anderson), would make it a Class C misdemeanor to use a handheld
wireless communications device to transmit a text message or
electronic mail message while operating a motor vehicle. It also
would provide enhanced penalties for repeat offenders or if another
person is injured or killed. Consistent with the AMA position on
distracted and inattentive motor vehicle operations, SB-111 holds
vehicle operators more accountable for their actions.
Arizona: State officials plan to crack down on OHV
registration compliance. Citing statistics that indicate
less than a quarter of OHVs currently registered in the state have
the required OHV decal, Arizona Game and Fish officers will be
stepping up compliance enforcement efforts when out in the field. The
$25 OHV registration decal is good for one year from the date of
purchase. Also, the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) does not send
renewal notices, so it is the responsibility of owners to make sure
their vehicles remain in compliance.
The OHV decal program took effect on Jan. 1, 2009, and requires
the annual purchase of a decal for any OHV designed by the
manufacturer primarily for use over unimproved terrain and weighing
1,800 pounds or less. This includes most all-terrain vehicles,
side-by-sides (utility vehicles), dirt bikes and some sand
Game and Fish officers will be citing vehicle owners who fail to
display the required OHV decals soon. The fine for not having the
decal is $250. Decals can be obtained online at
at any MVD office or MVD third-party service providers.
Illinois: House Bill 4701, introduced by Rep.
Dan Brady (R-Bloomington), would require all motor vehicles operated
on a highway, not just motorcycles, but also motor-driven cycles, and
motorized pedalcycles, to use head lamps or daytime running lights at
all times. Motorcyclists uneasy that such a "lights on"
policy will wash out their profile in traffic should contact their
state representative to make their concerns known.
Minnesota: 2009’s preliminary traffic death count
of 403 marks another significant drop in annual road fatalities,
representing a eight percent drop from the 455 deaths in 2008. The
state projects a final death number of around 420, which would be the
fewest number of fatalities since 356 were reported in1944.
The preliminary 51 motorcyclist deaths represent a sharp
decline (29 percent) from 72 rider deaths in 2008, which was a
24-year high. The drop in rider deaths is especially significant as
ridership is at an all-time high.
The most critical stat to determine road safety is the death
rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled (VMT). The Department of
Public Safety estimates the 2009 VMT will be 0.75, which would be the
lowest ever for Minnesota. In 2008, the state VMT fatality rate was
0.79 (less than one death per 100 million VMT) – among the lowest in
the nation – and down from a rate of 5.52 in 1966.
The 403-fatality count includes motorists (298), motorcyclists (51);
pedestrians (36), bicyclists (9), ATV riders (3), farm equipment
operators (3), commercial bus passengers/drivers (2), and a road
maintenance vehicle occupant. Distracted, impaired driving, not using
a seat belt and speeding are expected to be the primary contributing
factors of the 2009 fatal crashes and serious injuries.
New Jersey: Assembly Bill 4164, sponsored by
Asm. Ruben Ramos, Jr. (D-Hoboken), would provide an exemption from
the sales and use tax for sales of recreational safety helmets,
including those worn by motorcyclists.
Also Assembly Bill 4244, sponsored by Asm. Vincent Prieto
(D-Secaucus), proposes a $150 penalty per violation for alteration of
equipment or the performance of equipment of any vehicle that has
been approved at an official inspection facility with the intent to
defeat the purpose of the inspection. The bill also would make the
operation of any such altered vehicle a violation.
Pennsylvania: House Bill 2104, sponsored by
Rep. Michael K. Hanna (D-Lock Haven), would permit a person to file a
complaint against the owner/operator of a motor vehicle that violates
provisions in Section 4523 (exhaust systems, mufflers and noise
control) of Title 75 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes. A
magisterial district judge could issue a search warrant, authorizing
the Pennsylvania State Police to inspect the motor vehicle and take