WORKING FOR ATV ROAD ACCESS — THE TRUTH ON HB 1632
WHY DID THE NMA AND WOHVA OPPOSE ALL BUT THE FINAL VERSION OF HB 1632?
Some of the rumors floating around say it was because we support renegade trail building. Others say that we support "anonymous" riding,
whatever that means.
The truth is that both of these organizations refused to support any legislation that contained elements that were not in the best interest
of the vast majority of off highway vehicle enthusiasts.
In fact, the WOHVA legislative goals for the past 3 years have INCLUDED gaining ATVs access to non-highway roads after they accomplished this
with the NMA for dirt bikes … why would WOHVA oppose a bill that promoted their OWN GOAL? The answer is that this wasn't JUST a bill
promoting ATV road access.
CAUSE NO HARM
WOHVA and the NMA are adamant that supported legislative actions must first cause no harm to any
type of Off Road Vehicle use. HB 1632 continually failed that basic concept.
Right up until a few minutes before final passage HB 1632 contained something harmful to our sport. That final issue revolved around unreasonable
and inequitable application of rules and regulations.
We have always supported reasonable rules and regulations with penalties proportional to the violation, but firmly believe that they should
apply equally to all citizens.
$500 FINES WERE EXCESSIVE
Prior to the final amendment, an up to $500 traffic ticket could be issued for any violation of any rule or regulation and could be applied
things as minor as improper parking, having a burned out headlight, an expired ORV permit or Discover Pass. While these are reasonable rules
to enforce, a $500 traffic ticket would not have been a reasonable penalty.
Throughout the legislative process a variety of concerns continually appeared.
At one point it was not just a fine that we were concerned about, but a criminal infraction that could lead to jail time.
CLOSED TRAILS TO ORV USE
Earlier versions that we blocked included language that all ORV trails and roads would have to be specifically engineered for that purpose.
Up until a couple of years ago, it is unlikely that any trails were engineered specifically for ORV use and definitely no roads ever were.
Based on that, the bill would have immediately eliminated all ORV use in our state.
CLOSED ROADS TO ORV USE
At another point it would have closed all roads to nonhighway vehicles unless the road was specifically designated as open for nonhighway
vehicle use. Since the definition of a nonhighway vehicle includes all vehicles used for recreational purposes on nonhighway roads this
language would have banned most recreational use of nonhighway roads.
TWO LARGE LICENSE PLATES ON KIDS MOTORCYCLES
There was also language requiring two full sized metal license plates on all Off Road Vehicles. That might work for quads, but it would not
have been safe on children sized motorcycles.
NO FUNDING FOR NOVA
Some versions would have also exempted modified quads from contribution into the Nonhighway and Offroad Vehicle Activity (NOVA) account and
as a result that would have harmed funding for ORV trails.
There was also the fundamental concern that is it OK to impose new penalties on all forms of OHV use just so a small subgroup can gain a
small benefit for just their users.
POOR DRAFTING … OR POOR INTENT?
Some of these problems may have been the result of poor drafting of the legislation, but the frequency with which they occurred would lead
a reasonable person to believe that there was at least some intent involved. Compound that with knowing that some of the strongest advocates
for this legislation had solid anti-OHV histories. This is why the NMA and WOHVA were so diligent in expressing their concerns throughout
THE FULL HISTORY OF HB 1632
If you would like to have a more in depth look at the intent and actions of the people involved with the ATV road use legislation you can
read their own words by reading this in depth history: http://tinyurl.com/n3mokz6