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ATV Safety Summit: State Legislation: Effecting Change - New Mexico's ATV Safety Program


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David Chester, New Mexico's off-highway vehilce program manager, used this presentation to discuss New Mexico's OHV program at CPSC's ATV Safety Summit on Oct. 11, 2012. Comprehensive ATV Legislation: The New Mexico Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act of 2006 is a comprehensive and uniform set of standards for the registration, permitting and safe operation of ATVs and other off-road vehicles, and for the certification of OHV safety training organizations, instructors and guides, and matters related to off-highway vehicle recreation on public lands. The standards focus on protecting the safety of ATV and other off-highway vehicle users, and ensuring responsible and sensitive use on public lands. The Act synthesizes years of lessons learned and experience from health care professionals, land management agencies, private land owners, and practical guidelines provided by industry leaders. Serving the last three years as New Mexico’s OHV Program Manager, I have shared New Mexico’s OHV Act with other state’s who are forming standards for off-road recreation. As the legislative chairman of the International OHV Administrators Association, I have compiled a database of other state’s OHV legislation for the use by other program managers and to stay current on legislative trends across North America. Serving 21 years in law enforcement prior to becoming the state off-highway vehicle manager sealed my interest in working with laws that can affect public health and safety.

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ATV Safety Summit: State Legislation: Effecting Change - New Mexico's ATV Safety Program

  2. 2. New Mexico’s Youth ATV Standards• New Mexico’s Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act is a comprehensive and uniform set of standards focusing on the protection and safety of ATV and other off-highway vehicle users.• The Act includes 6 safety requirements for youth ATV operators and includes:
  3. 3. Equipment Requirements• SAFETY HELMETS • All off-highway motor vehicle operators and passengers under the age of eighteen (18) shall wear safety helmets that comply with the state and federal safety standards (• EYE PROTECTION • Unless the off-highway motor vehicle has a protective widescreen, all off-highway motor vehicle operators and passengers under the age of eighteen must wear eye protection that meets or exceeds the Vehicle Equipment Safety Standards Regulation VESC-8 ( and more generally know as safety glasses or safety goggles. Additionally, the protective eyewear must be free of scratches, give a clear view to both sides and fastened securely.
  4. 4. Age Appropriate/Size Fit RequirementsPHYSICAL FIT STANDARD FOR ATV’s – Clearance between seat and inseam while standing on foot pegs: 3-6 inches – Upper legs near horizontal when seated – Foot long enough to engage brake – Grip reach allows for operating without leaning to far forward – Throttle reach allows right hand to easily operate throttle – Brake reach-fingers must go past the brake handle……AGE APPROPRIATE FIT – No one under 6 can operate on Public Land – Under 10, No greater than 100cc – 10-15, not greater than 250cc – 14 & 15 with DL can ride up to 450cc – 16 can ride over a 250cc OHV……..
  5. 5. OHV Safety Training Requirements• Any person under 18 years old is required to have completed an OHV safety training course before operating on PUBLIC LAND• They must have safety training permit with them and present permit on demand
  6. 6. Youth Supervision Requirements• Under 10 years old – OHV must be age appropriate fit – Visually supervised by parent or guardian – Restrictions do not apply when part of an organized tour with a certified OHV guide• Under 18 years old but at least 10 years old – Cannot operate an OHV unless visually supervised at all times by a person over 18 with a valid drivers license – Exempted from this are those 13 & over with a motorcycle license and OHV safety certificate – OR those over 15 with a DL, Instructional or provisional license and OHV safety certificate
  7. 7. No Pavement Use/No Passengers• No ATV operation on limited access highway or freeway or on any paved street or highway other than to cross to a trailhead or parking area• NEVER carry a passenger, even if ATV is designed for two if operator is under 18 yrs
  8. 8. International Off-Highway Vehicle Administrators Association, INOHVAA• Chairman of INOHVAA Legislative Committee – Collecting state links to OHV laws for access to public and association membership from INOHVAA website – Collection and posting of state’s definitions for OHV/ROV – Collecting legislative trends around the country for discussion during committee meetings – Working towards a uniform set of standards for state OHV programs concerning safety training and registration reciprocity
  9. 9. SUMMARY• 1. SAFETY EQUIPMENT• 2. AGE APPROPRIATE/SIZE FIT REQUIREMENT• 3. SAFETY TRAINING REQUIREMENT• 4. SUPERVISION REQUIREMENT FOR JUVENILES• 5. NO CARRYING OF PASSENGERS IF UNDER 18• 6. NO OPERATION ON PAVEMENT – New Mexico has seen a reduced number of fatalities on public lands since the Act was passed. CPSC ATV Fatalities by State 2007-2010.
  10. 10. QUESTIONS?