By Michael P. Neufeld
Sacramento, CA – California offers some of the greatest OHV recreation opportunities in the nation.
However, A.B. 1595 that became effective January 1 restricting OHV use and operation has caused some confusion for the public and law enforcement agencies. Among the changes is a requirement setting age limitations for the operation of such vehicles, the requirement for seat belts and helmets by passengers and operators, and the requirement that passengers be able to reach safety handholds.
ASSEMBLYMAN TIM DONNELLY
Assemblyman Tim Donnelly (R-Twin Peaks) believes the legislation imposes unnecessary restrictions on OHV ownership and recreation and has introduced A.D. 63 to repeal the new regulations.
“A.B. 64 will restore the rights law abiding citizens enjoyed last year when participating in off-highway vehicle recreation,” Donnelly stated in a media release.
“A.B. 64 will wipe the slate clean by removing A.B. 1595 from the books completely,” Donnelly continued. “A basic American sport and pastime should not be unreasonably restricted. Families are perfectly capable of watching out for the safety of those in their party without further government interference. When governing, we must be sensitive to our duty of using the least restrictive methods possible; the laws already on the books were adequate to ensure safe operation of OHVs.”
A.B. 64 will strike the language of AB 1595 from California Vehicle code, restoring the previous laws regulating off-highway vehicles.
The Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association originally supported A.B. 1595. The bill received no formal opposition during the legislative process. As a result, the bill was not vetted in a single committee, according to Donnelly’s office. Riders and families who use and purchase the vehicles did not send in formal opposition until it was too late, and the bill had already been signed into law by the governor on July 24. Their protests, however, revealed significant problems with the restrictions.
The author vowed to fix these issues by deleting some provisions imposed by the bill. Unfortunately, the only fix that passed within Legislative deadlines last year was minor, only tweaking some of the freedom-breaching restrictions, not removing them.