2010 Comprehensive OHV Legislation

Discussion in '4 Wheeling - ATVs' started by bradymsu, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. Here is the long awaited 2010 ORV (now to be "OHV") legislation. Intelligent feedback, as always, is welcome.

    Version: July 21, 2009 (Pre-Draft #1)
    2010 OHV Comprehensive Legislation

    This legislation impacts numerous sections of Michigan ORV law. It is referred to as the "2010 Comprehensive" to distinguish it from other ORV legislation. The legislation is based on public comment and the contribution of various user groups. It is a work in progress. Changes are anticipated throughout the legislative process. The summary below reflects the status of the legislation as of the date listed above.

    The 2010 Comprehensive would increase funding for trail maintenance and law enforcement on public land and county roads. It seeks to better address problems regarding public and private trespass and unsupervised youth operation. It would improve OHV safety education. It would clean-up issues identified with PA 240'08, apply PA 240'08 state-wide and make that law permanent.

    Summary of changes:

    References to "Off-road vehicle" and "ORV" in Michigan law would be changed to "Off-highway vehicle and "OHV" to reflect federal law.

    The cost of an annual trail permit would increase to $30.50. Of that, $14.50 would go to trail maintenance, $14.50 to department operations, enforcement and special initiatives, $1 to OHV safety education, and 50 cents to the license vendor.

    An annual registration of OHVs not already plated by the state would be established. The cost of the annual registration would be $6. Of that, $1 would go to the Secretary of State for administration and 50 cents would go to OHV safety education. The remaining money would be dispersed to county sheriffs where county roads are opened to OHVs pursuant to PA 240'08 in a ratio proportional to the number of OHV lane miles open in each county to the state total. The registration would expire on April 1 of each year. Otherwise, the registration process would be closely based on the current snowmobile registration process.

    Along with a certificate of registration, the Secretary of State would establish and issue an identifying decal under rules promulgated by that department that would be displayed on the OHV. The registration decal would not be required for OHVs that are already plated through the Secretary of State or have a current plate or current registration decal from another state or a province of Canada.

    OHV registrations would be included in the Law Enforcement Information Network (LEIN).

    Any county, township, city or village in the state would be able to open its local roads under PA 240. PA 240 would no longer be restricted to northern Michigan.

    The Michigan Transportation Commission would be able to permanently, seasonally or temporarily authorize the travel of OHVs on short stretches of state highways that have a speed limit at or below 45 miles per hour.

    The location of operation on county roads would be clarified to include maintained shoulders.

    The language allowing county road commissions to close up to 30% of county roads for environmental or safety reasons would be clarified to reflect the original intent of PA 240.

    Language would be added to authorize local units of government to permit the travel of OHVs on roads maintained with state or local funds that pass through or along federal forest lands.

    Penalties would be doubled for trespass on private and public lands, unsupervised youth operation and operating an OHV without a helmet except where helmet use is not currently required.

    The definition of an ATV would be amended to reflect the language of HB 5087.

    The MDNR would establish an OHV Safety Training Academy to train and license OHV Safety instructors. These instructors would be compensated through rules promulgated by the department through the OHV Safety Training Fund at a rate of not more than $20 per student. Licensed OHV safety instructors would not be allowed to charge an additional fee for classroom instruction but would be allowed to charge a fee for optional hands-on instruction desired by the parent or student.

    A free riding day would be established the third Saturday in May where an OHV trail sticker or OHV registration is not required.

    Liability limits would be established for trail maintenance organizations equal to that provided to organizations that groom snowmobile trails.

    The threshold for an organized group event on state land would be increased to 75 vehicles unless the group is collecting a fee for the event.

    Language would be added to define "primitive road" and clarify that primitive roads are closed to OHV traffic.

    The PA 240 sunset would be removed.

    Wanna kill these ads? We can help!
    #1 bradymsu, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  2. 1) Would "trail permits" only be required on trails or whenever operated off private property?

    2) Money allocated to County Sheriff's from the registration, would this be a general allocation to them to use as they deem fit OR would they be required to use it specific to ORV equipment and ORV enforcement?

    3) You mention doubling the fines for trespass, unsupervised youth and no helmets. The law already allows for a fine up to $500 and in the case of trespass and unsupervised youth up to 90 days in jail. So are you talking about a max $1000 fine which you know no judge will ever assess OR are you talking about establishing a minimum fine?

    #2 foxriver6, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  3. The requirements for where trail permits are required would not change. It is my understanding that trail permits are currently required for use on public roads even if state trails aren't accessed.

    There is no language in the draft that requires the funds to the county sheriff to be used for the enforcement of ORV ordinances. It should be added. Thanks for bringing it up.
  4. Right now the "ORV trail permit" is legally defined as a "ORV license".

    So now will need an ORV license and a ORV registration? I wonder how that will be received by the public. You might be better off changing the name from "ORV license" to "ORV Trail Permit".

    For snowmobiles, you have a snowmobile trail permit and a snowmobile registration. Both are required at all times with certain exceptions. For example, while ice fishing, a snowmobile is required to have a snowmobile registration but not a snowmobile trail permit.

    When ice fishing, will a quad be required to have a both? Currently the quad is required to have a ORV license.

    What happens when the Sheriff's Office doesn't have a road patrol such as the case in Iosco County or some of the UP counties? How is that money channeled to the agencies that would use it for ORV road enforcement such as the State Police or municipal agencies?
    #4 foxriver6, Jul 21, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2009
  5. $30.50 for a trail permit is a STEEP increase:yikes:

    Hunting and fishing licenses are not taking that big of a hit, what gives?:confused:

    Its not the end of the world, but where does all that money go? It doesn't go to grooming or trail maps because those things only exsist at a bare minimum.
  6. First, let me say that posts like this are very helpful in drafting legislation. They're pragmatic.

    We can write the ice fishing exception into the law for the existing annual sticker to treat it like snowmobiles. Whether that should happen or not needs to be debated. Less than 1/2 this sticker's proceeds goes to trail maintenance. A portion goes to safety education and much of the rest goes to DNR law enforcment, which we can presume is operating on the surface of frozen public lakes.

    The question on funding law enforcement is a very good one. We could require a sherrif's department to have a road patrol as a condition for receiving funds. We could also require that counties disburse a portion of fund received to township, cities and villages in that county based on the proportion of total lane miles open to OHVs each of those units have to the county total. MSP generally will not enforce local OHV ordinances.

    Good points.
  7. Well, that's the problem. Those things only exist at a bare minimum because there hasn't been an increase in the ORV sticker for years, not even the staged increases that hunting and fishing licenses have had since 1996. And unlike hunters, the number of ORVs is increasing, almost 30% over the past 7 years. If you adjust the trail permit based on inflation since the last increase, you come out to just under $30. With the new annual registration fee, the total cost would come to $36.50 for 2011. Snowmobiles, in comparison, will cost $55 in 2011.

    What you're going to see from the increase is primarily more trail grooming and more enforcement.
  8. A couple of points. I don't believe the sticker on the ORV (currently called an ORV license) was designed exclusively to fund the ORV trail system unlike the snowmobile trail permit. To call the ORV license a trail permit is a misnomer. If more funding is needed for trails, law enforcement and safety education, why not increase the cost of the current ORV license? Refigure the distribution formula of the monies as necessary to allocate percentages to education, DNR law, trails, county sheriff ect....to add another sticker adds bureaucracy. If there is a need to have a registration, morph the current ORV license into an ORV registration. If you want a trail permit, fine, but make it a trail permit and require it only when on the trails.

    A few other points. I don't believe MSP and DNR Conservation Officers can legally enforce local ordinances and that includes county ORV ordinances. So that does pose a problem to counties that want ORV ordinances, have ORV ordinances but don't have a county road patrol. Is the solution to amend state law to allow state agencies (DNR and MSP) to enforce county ordinances? And is this what you want to do? Maybe you leave it on the counties, have a road patrol to enforce your ordinance or lose out on ORV money and not have an enforcable ORV ordinance, catch 22 if you will.

    Much of the DNR ORV law enforcement is not visible and occurs off trail. People riding on trail at least in uncogested areas is not a significant natural resource related problem. However, people riding off trail is. Now that is not highly visible law enforcement but that's where the focus of the natural resources law enforcement needs to be, protecting the resources. With that said, almost all the "ticket revenue" generated from ORV state law citations goes to court costs and the library fund. How about reallocating those monies that currently go to the general fund back into the ORV fund? If the monies are coming from the ORV user base, keep it in the community. The legislature can decide if that money is used for trails, law enforcement, safety etc...

    Finally, like you do here, consider seeking input from these two websites: www.greatlakes4x4.com and www.atvoffroad.net. You will get a lot more ORV user base input at either of those two sites than you will here.
    #8 foxriver6, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
  9. thanks Foxriver6 for posting the two links.

    i pulled this from here and stuck it over there too. The ATV site. Getting heated over there.

    i have mixed emotions on the whole deal myself. i brought up a "PLATE" issue years ago, only to get a response of "we don't want the SOS involved in this".
    Now i read the SOS is going to be wel....INVOLVED

    I am all for higher fee's....if the Moneys are spent the right way....

    All i hear is a lot of complaints about poor trail maintenance. You know what, groups are getting paid to do these such as ours.

    When i ride a trail that was supposed to be maintained say two weeks after the initial Memorial Day weekend an i am getting slapped in the face by a tunnel of untrimmed trails, i wonder where our money goes?

    Maybe someone does not do that trail????
    Wrong, get back, Call Monday Morning to ask if there are any trails our club can maintain??

    were sorry, all trails have sponsers!!!!! HMMMMMMM
  10. State LEOs "may" enforce local laws but are not required to; they are required to enforce State laws. They have the ability to enforce the local ordinances, if they so choose.
  11. PA 240 provided ORV riders with a lot of new freedoms. Just like with getting one's first car, with new freedom comes new responsiblities and costs. The three main things that need to be addressed with this legislation are:

    1. There needs to be a visible means of indentication on ATVs and un-plated motorcycles to help with enforcement, particularly combating trespass on public and private land. I believe these are the only motor vehicles that don't currently have identification on the vehicle. Even boats have identification.

    2. There needs to be significantly increased funding for local law enforcement. Local law enforcment was already stretched very thin due to revenue sharing cuts. Many local agencies don't have the manpower to enforce these new ordinances. MSP and Conservation Officers certainly don't either.

    3. There needs to be a crackdown on irresponsible parents who let kids use ORVs unsupervised as toys to keep their kids out of their hair.

    As for the other websites, I do belong to www.atvoffroad.net. However, there have been too many occassions where I've typed responses on that website only to go to post them and have been logged out by the software. Unlike here, you can't hit the back key and expect what you've written to still be there. Besides, Michigan Sportsman would be happy to have some new members and perhaps they can explore some other areas of outdoor recreation on this site that aren't on the others.
  12. With some exceptions, state LEOs cannot enforce municipal ordinances. If you can show me where in law that says they can, please let me know.

    MCL 28.583 allows for public bodies to create law enforcement agencies that can enforce state laws and local ordinances

    MCL 600.8707 says: (1) An authorized local official who witnesses a person violate an ordinance a violation of which is a municipal civil infraction shall prepare and subscribe, as soon as possible and as completely as possible, an original and 3 copies of a citation, except as provided in subsection (6).

    (a) “Authorized local official” means a police officer or other personnel of a county, city, village, township, or regional parks and recreation commission created under section 2 of Act No. 265 of the Public Acts of 1961, being section 46.352 of the Michigan Compiled Laws, legally authorized to issue municipal civil infraction citations.

    MCL 41.81 says:

    The sheriff, department of state police, or other local law enforcement agency shall, if called upon, provide special police protection for the township and enforce local township ordinances to the extent that township funds are appropriated for the enforcement.
    #12 foxriver6, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015
  13. Regardless, the Michigan State Police and DNR Law Enforcement Division lack the resources to adequately enforce state laws and conservation orders. And their budgets are not going to improve in the near future. The local units of government that adopt these ORV ordinances have the obligation to either enforce them or conclude that enforcement isn't necessary in their communities.
  14. Brady I want to thank you for doing what you can to bring more opportunities to the ORV users in this state. I know it's been a long and difficult slog and your help is greatly appreciated.

  15. I have posted a link to this on greatlakes4x4 under the quad and bike section. I really have nothing to add to the conversation though since I am more into fullsize off roading.
    #15 DowHunter, Jul 22, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 30, 2015

Share This Page