2007 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) Morgan
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT IT SHALL NOT BE UNLAWFUL UNDER CERTAIN CONDITIONS TO OPERATE AN ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE UPON GOVERNMENT LANDS OTHER THAN PUBLIC ROADS, STREETS AND HIGHWAYS; TO REQUIRE PERSONS OPERATING SUCH VEHICLES ON GOVERNMENT LANDS TO WEAR A CRASH HELMET, TO MEET THE MANUFACTURER'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF PASSENGERS THAT MAY OPERATE OR RIDE UPON SUCH VEHICLE, AND TO COMPLY WITH ALL LAWS, RULES AND REGULATIONS REGARDING USE OF THE VEHICLE ON THE LANDS WHERE THE VEHICLE IS BEING OPERATED; TO PRESCRIBE PENALTIES FOR PERSONS VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) For the purposes of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings ascribed in this subsection unless the context otherwise requires:
(a) "All-terrain vehicle" means any motorized vehicle manufactured and designed exclusively for off-road use that is sixty (60) inches or less in width, has an unladen dry weight of seven hundred fifty (750) pounds or less, travels on three (3), four (4) or more low pressure tires, has a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and uses handlebars for steering control.
(b) "Governmental authority" means the State of Mississippi and any state agency, department, institution or instrumentality thereof, and any county, municipality or political subdivision of the state, or any instrumentality thereof.
(c) "Government lands" means real property owned by or leased by a governmental authority or over which a governmental authority has jurisdiction to enforce laws, rules and regulations governing the permissible uses of such property.
(2) Except as provided under subsection (3) of this section, any person under the age of sixteen (16) who operates an all-terrain vehicle upon any government lands shall wear on the operator's head a crash helmet that complies with minimum guidelines established by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration pursuant to the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 for helmets designed for use by motorcyclists.
(3) The provisions of this section shall not authorize any person to operate an all-terrain vehicle on any public road, street or highway constructed and designed primarily for the use of motor vehicles required to be registered and licensed under Chapter 19, Title 27, Mississippi Code of 1972, unless the governmental authority having jurisdiction over such road, street or highway has specifically authorized such use.
(4) A violation of this section shall constitute a traffic offense, and any person who operates an all-terrain vehicle in violation of the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not to exceed Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00). This fine shall be in addition to any fines or penalties as may otherwise be prescribed by law or by rule and regulation with regard to any prohibited act or omission committed upon the government land.
SECTION 2. This act shall be codified in Title 63, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2007.