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Searching 2021-2022 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 031 : ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 3506)
  • § 3506. Operation; prohibited acts; financial responsibility; headgear

    (a) A person shall only operate an ATV, or permit an ATV owned by him or her or under his or her control to be operated, in accordance with this chapter.

    (b) An ATV shall not be operated:

    (1) Along a public highway except if one or more of the following applies:

    (A) the highway has been opened to ATV travel by the legislative body of the municipality where the town highway is located or, for State highways, the Secretary of Transportation and is so posted;

    (B) the ATV is being used for agricultural purposes and is operated not closer than three feet from the traveled portion of any highway for the purpose of traveling within the confines of the farm;

    (C) the ATV is being use for forestry purposes and is operated not closer than three feet from the traveled portion of any highway for the purpose of traveling within the confines of the forestry operation; or

    (D) the ATV is being used by an employee or agent of an electric transmission or distribution company subject to the jurisdiction of the Public Utility Commission under 30 V.S.A. § 203 for utility purposes, including safely accessing utility corridors, provided that the ATV shall be operated along the edge of the roadway and shall yield to other vehicles.

    (2) Across a public highway except if all of the following conditions are met:

    (A) the crossing is made at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing;

    (B) the operator brings the ATV to a complete stop before entering the traveled portion of the highway;

    (C) the operator yields the right of way to motor vehicles and pedestrians using the highway;

    (D) the operator is 12 years of age or older; and

    (E) in the case of an operator under 16 years of age, the operator is under the direct supervision of an individual 18 years of age or older who does not have a suspended operator's license or privilege to operate.

    (3) On any privately owned land or privately owned body of water unless either:

    (A) the operator is the owner or member of the immediate family of the owner of the land;

    (B) the operator carries the written consent of the owner or lessee of the land or the land surrounding the privately owned body of water to operate an ATV in the specific area and during specific hours or days, or both, in which the operator is operating;

    (C) the ATV displays a valid VASA Trail Access Decal (TAD) as required by subsection 3502(a) of this title that serves as proof that the ATV and its operator, by virtue of the TAD, are members of VASA and consent has been given orally or in writing to operate an ATV in the area where the operator is operating; or

    (D) the owner of the land or the land surrounding the privately owned body of water designated the area for use by ATVs by posting the area in a manner approved by the Secretary to give reasonable notice that use is permitted.

    (4) On any municipal lands unless opened to ATV travel by the legislative body of the municipality where the land is located or on any State lands, body of public water, or natural area established under the provisions of 10 V.S.A. § 2607 unless designated by the Secretary for use by ATVs in rules adopted under 3 V.S.A. chapter 25.

    (5) By an individual under 12 years of age unless he or she is wearing on his or her head protective headgear of a type approved by the Commissioner while operating the ATV or riding as a passenger on the ATV and either:

    (A) he or she is on land owned by his or her parents, family, or guardian;

    (B) he or she has written permission of the landowner or lessee; or

    (C) he or she is under the direct supervision of an individual 18 years of age or older who does not have a suspended operator's license or privilege to operate.

    (6) In any manner that could reasonably be expected to harm, harass, drive, or pursue any wildlife.

    (7) If the registration certificate or consent form and proof of insurance are not available for inspection, and the registration number, or plate of a size and type approved by the Commissioner, is not displayed on the ATV in a manner approved by the Commissioner.

    (8) While the operator is under the influence of drugs or alcohol as defined by this title.

    (9) In a careless or negligent manner that is inconsistent with the duty of ordinary care, so as to endanger an individual or property.

    (10) Within a cemetery, public or private, as defined in 18 V.S.A. § 5302.

    (11) On limited access highways, rights-of-way, or approaches unless permitted by the Traffic Committee under section 1004 of this title. In no cases shall the use of ATVs be permitted on any portion of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways unless the Traffic Committee permits operation on these highways.

    (12) On a sidewalk unless permitted by the legislative body of the municipality where the sidewalk is located.

    (13) Without liability insurance as described in this subdivision. The owner or operator of an ATV shall not operate or permit the operation of an ATV at locations where the ATV must be registered in order to be lawfully operated under section 3502 of this title without having in effect a bond or a liability policy in the amounts of at least $25,000.00 for one individual and $50,000.00 for two or more individuals killed or injured and $10,000.00 for damages to property in any one crash. In lieu of a bond or liability policy, evidence of self-insurance in the amount of $115,000.00 must be filed with the Commissioner. Financial responsibility shall be maintained and evidenced in a form prescribed by the Commissioner, and persons who self-insure shall be subject to the provisions of subsection 801(c) of this title.

    (14) While the operator's license or privilege to operate a motor vehicle is suspended, unless operated at a location described in subdivision 3502(a)(2)(A) or (D) of this title.

    (15) Outside the boundaries of trails established by the VASA Trail System unless such operation is specifically authorized pursuant to another provision of this chapter.

    (16) At locations where the ATV must be registered in order to be lawfully operated under section 3502 of this title unless the operator and all passengers wear:

    (A) properly secured protective headgear that is used as intended by the manufacturer of the headgear and conforms to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards contained in 49 C.F.R. § 571.218, as amended, and any applicable regulations promulgated by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation; or

    (B) properly secured protective headgear that is used as intended by the manufacturer of the headgear and conforms to ASTM International or National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment safety standards, provided that the ATV is equipped with manufacturer-installed rollover protection and safety belts that have not been removed or modified in a way that reduces their effectiveness.

    (c) No public or private landowner shall be liable for any property damage or personal injury sustained by any individual operating or riding as a passenger on an ATV or upon a vehicle or other device drawn by an ATV upon the public or private landowner's property, whether or not the public or private landowner has given permission to use the land, unless the public or private landowner charges a cash fee to the operator or owner of the ATV for the use of the property or unless damage or injury is intentionally inflicted by the landowner.

    (d) In addition to all other requirements, an ATV may not be operated:

    (1) if equipped with an exhaust system with a cut out, bypass, or similar device; or

    (2) with the spark arrester removed or modified, except for use in closed course competition events.

    (e) In addition to all other requirements, an ATV may not be operated by an operator who is less than 18 years of age unless one of the following criteria is met:

    (1) the operator is operating on property owned or leased by the operator or his or her parents or guardian;

    (2) the operator is taking a prescribed safety education training course and operating under the direct supervision of a certified ATV safety instructor; or

    (3) the operator holds an appropriate safety education certificate issued by this State or issued under the authority of another state or province of Canada.

    (f) An individual who is required to hold an appropriate safety education certificate under the provisions of subsection (e) of this section shall exhibit the safety education certificate upon demand of a law enforcement officer having authority to enforce the provisions of this section.

    (g) [Repealed.]  (Added 1983, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1985, No. 8; 1991, No. 123 (Adj. Sess.), § 3; 2009, No. 50, § 81; 2013, No. 161 (Adj. Sess.), § 72; 2017, No. 83, § 156; 2017, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 27; 2019, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 18; 2019, No. 131 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 244, 245; 2021, No. 76, § 37.)