MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2005 Regular Session

To: Judiciary, Division B

By: Senator(s) Burton

Senate Bill 2282

AN ACT TO ESTABLISH THE ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE SAFETY REGULATION ACT; TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON ANY ROAD ON THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM EXCEPT TO ALLOW AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE BEING USED FOR A LEGITIMATE AGRICULTURAL PURPOSE TO CROSS ROADS ON THE STATE HIGHWAY SYSTEM THAT DO NOT CONSIST OF FOUR OR MORE LANES FOR TRAFFIC; TO ALLOW THE OPERATION ON COUNTY ROADS OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE BEING USED FOR A LEGITIMATE AGRICULTURAL PURPOSE BY PERSONS HOLDING A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE FOR A DISTANCE OF NOT MORE THAN ONE MILE IN ORDER FOR SUCH VEHICLE TO CROSS SUCH COUNTY ROAD; TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON THE STREETS OF INCORPORATED MUNICIPALITIES; TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON PUBLIC PROPERTY WITHOUT A HELMET BY A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 18 OR BY ANY PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 18 WITH A PASSENGER; TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON PUBLIC PROPERTY WITHOUT A VALID DRIVER'S LICENSE; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 16 MAY OPERATE AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON PUBLIC PROPERTY IF HE HAS COMPLETED AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE RIDING TRAINING COURSE AND IS ACCOMPANIED BY AND IN THE PLAIN SIGHT OF A DULY-LICENSED ADULT; TO PROHIBIT THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON A PUBLIC ROAD AT A SPEED OF GREATER THAN 25 MILES PER HOUR OR WITHOUT HEAD AND TAIL LAMPS ILLUMINATED; TO PROHIBIT THE RIDING OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE UPON THE FENCED, ENCLOSED OR POSTED LANDS OF ANOTHER WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE OWNER; TO PROVIDE THAT A PERSON WHO ALLOWS A PERSON UNDER THE AGE OF 16 TO OPERATE AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ON HIS PROPERTY SHALL REQUIRE THE OPERATOR TO WEAR A HELMET; TO PLACE AGE LIMITS ON THE OPERATION OF AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE OF CERTAIN ENGINE DISPLACEMENTS; TO REQUIRE PERSONS WHO SELL NEW ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES TO DISPLAY CERTAIN LITERATURE AND OFFER CERTAIN TRAINING COURSES; TO REQUIRE PERSONS WHO LEASE ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES TO OFFER HELMETS, PROTECTIVE EYEWEAR AND TRAINING TO THEIR CUSTOMERS; TO REQUIRE THE REPORTING OF CERTAIN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE ACCIDENTS; TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS OF THIS ACT; TO AMEND SECTION 27-19-30, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES THAT ARE OPERATED ON PUBLIC ROADS IN THE LIMITED MANNER AUTHORIZED IN THIS ACT SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM PRIVILEGE TAXES AND REGISTRATION FEES AND SHALL NOT BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A LICENSE TAG; TO AMEND SECTION 63-7-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES THAT ARE OPERATED ON PUBLIC ROADS IN THE LIMITED MANNER AUTHORIZED IN THIS ACT SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM THE EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS OF THE UNIFORM HIGHWAY TRAFFIC REGULATION LAW; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:

SECTION 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Regulation Act."

SECTION 2. As used in this act:

(a) "All-terrain vehicle" means any off-highway vehicle fifty (50) inches or less in width, having a dry weight of eight hundred (800) pounds or less, traveling on three (3) or more low-pressure tires, having a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control.

(b) "Owner" means any person having a property interest or title to an all-terrain vehicle and entitled to the use and possession of the vehicle.

SECTION 3. (1) An all-terrain vehicle may not be operated on any road in the state highway system; however, an all-terrain vehicle being used for a legitimate agricultural purpose may be operated on the state highway system to the extent necessary to cross a road on the state highway system if the road does not consist of four (4) or more lanes for traffic and the crossing is done at an angle of approximately ninety degrees (90) to the direction of the road and at a place where no other obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing.

(2) An all-terrain vehicle being used for a legitimate agricultural purpose may be operated on county roads by persons holding a driver's license for a distance of not more than one (1) mile in order to cross such a road; however, an all-terrain vehicle may not be operated on streets or roads within an incorporated municipality.

(3) An all-terrain vehicle may not be operated on public property, including any public road:

(a) By any person under the age of eighteen (18) unless the person is wearing a protective helmet of a type approved by the United States Department of Transportation;

(b) By any person under the age of eighteen (18) with a passenger; and

(c) Except as otherwise provided by subsection (4) of this section, by any operator unless the operator possesses a valid driver's license.

(4) A person under the age of sixteen (16) who does not have a driver's license, who satisfactorily completes an all-terrain vehicle rider training course approved by the Department of Public Safety, may operate an all-terrain vehicle on public property when accompanied by and in plain sight of a person over the age of twenty-one (21) who holds a driver's license.

(5) An all-terrain vehicle may not be operated:

(a) In a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger or cause injury or damage to any person or property;

(b) While under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, or under the influence of a prescription or nonprescription drug that impairs vision or motor coordination;

(c) At a speed of greater than twenty-five (25) miles per hour on any public road; or

(d) Without head and tail lamps illuminated while on any public road.

(6) (a) It is unlawful for any person to ride an all-terrain vehicle upon the fenced, enclosed or posted land of another person without having in his possession the written permission of the landowner or the tenant or agent of the landowner.

(b) Any landowner, tenant or agent who allows a person under the age of sixteen (16) to ride an all-terrain vehicle on land over which they have control shall require such person to wear a protective helmet of a type approved by the United States Department of Transportation.

(7) Law enforcement officers may enter upon private lands in pursuit of the operator of an all-terrain vehicle violating the provisions of this section.

SECTION 4. (1) No person shall knowingly allow the use of an all-terrain vehicle under his control with an engine displacement of seventy (70) cubic centimeters or more to be used by a person under twelve (12) years of age.

(2) No person shall knowingly allow the use of an all-terrain vehicle under his control with an engine displacement of ninety (90) cubic centimeters or more to be used by a person under sixteen (16) years of age.

(3) The owner of an all-terrain vehicle shall not authorize or permit an all-terrain vehicle to be operated contrary to the provisions of this act.

SECTION 5. (1) Persons who sell new all-terrain vehicles shall display literature and signs approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety to inform the public of the provisions of this act, and shall offer a free all-terrain vehicle rider training course approved by the Commissioner of Public Safety to each purchaser of a new all-terrain vehicle.

(2) Persons who rent or lease all-terrain vehicles to the public shall offer safety training to all-terrain rental customers and shall provide a protective helmet of a type approved by the United States Department of Transportation and safety eyewear to all-terrain vehicle rental customers.

(3) The Commissioner of Public Safety shall prescribe rules and regulations for acceptable all-terrain vehicle rider training courses and the approval of such courses.

SECTION 6. If the operation of an all-terrain vehicle results in an accident that causes the death of a person or results in an injury that is treated by a physician, the operator of each all-terrain vehicle involved in the accident shall give notice of the accident to the Department of Public Safety in accordance with rules and regulations promulgated by the Commissioner of Public Safety for giving of such notice.

SECTION 7. (1) A person who violates the provisions of this act, upon conviction, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished as follows:

(a) For a first conviction, by a fine of not more than One Hundred Dollars ($100.00);

(b) For a second conviction, by a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00);

(c) For a third or subsequent conviction, by a fine of not more than Five Hundred Dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment for not more than one (1) month, or both.

(2) A person who operates an all-terrain vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, shall be fined not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).

SECTION 8. Section 27-19-30, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

27-19-30. (1) No privilege tax or registration fee shall be imposed upon, and no license tag shall be required or issued for, any vehicle that is (a) designed or adapted to be used exclusively in the preparation and loading of chemicals or other material for aerial agricultural application to crops; and (b) only incidentally used on public roadways in this state.

(2) No privilege tax or registration fee shall be imposed upon, and no license tag shall be required or issued for an all-terrain vehicle, as defined in Section 2, Senate Bill No. 2282, 2005 Regular Session, if the all-terrain vehicle is operated on the public roads of this state in the limited manner authorized in Section 3, Senate Bill No. 2282, 2005 Regular Session.

SECTION 9. Section 63-7-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

63-7-9. (1) Except as may otherwise be provided in this chapter, the provisions of this chapter with respect to equipment on vehicles shall not apply to implements of husbandry, road machinery, road rollers or farm tractors.

(2) The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to an all-terrain vehicle, as defined in Section 2, Senate Bill No. 2282, 2005 Regular Session, if the all-terrain vehicle is operated on the public roads of this state in the limited manner authorized in Section 3, Senate Bill No. 2282, 2005 Regular Session.

SECTION 10. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.