Snowmobiles and atvs 39A: sm definitions




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SNOWMOBILES AND ATVS

39A:SM-1. Definitions

a. "All terrain vehicle" or “ATV” means a motor vehicle which has between three and six rubber tires and a gasoline engine not exceeding 600 cubic centimeters, designed to travel over any terrain, but does not include golf carts.

b. “CEP” means the Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection and “Department” or “DEP” means the Department of Environmental Protection.

c. "Farm" means land at least five acres in area used for commercial raising and producing of any crop, livestock, or fur product not used in the business of buying farm products for resale.

d. "Snowmobile" means a motor vehicle designed primarily to travel over ice or snow, using sled type runners, skis, an endless belt tread, cleats or a combination of these or similar means of contact with the surface, but does not include any farm tractor, highway or other construction equipment, or any military vehicle.

e. "Special event" means an organized race, exhibition or demonstration of limited duration conducted according to a prearranged schedule.

Source: 39:3C-1.

COMMENT


This section contains the substance of the source section. Definitions of the words “Commissioner” (referring to the Commissioner of the Department Environmental Protection) and “Director” (“referring to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles”) were deleted as confusing (in the case of “Commissioner” since the MVC is now a Commission) and unnecessarily repetitive (in the case of “Director”). The definitions pertaining to the Department of Environmental Protection and its Commissioner were added to eliminate repetition in the statutory sections of this chapter.

39A:SM-2. Powers of Chief Administrator and Commission

a. The Chief Administrator shall enforce statutes and regulations regarding the operation of snowmobiles and ATVs on or across a public highways, lands or waters including the following:

(1) Registration, identification, numbering and classification;

(2) Equipment;

(3) Standards of safety; and

(4) Educational programs.

b. The CEP shall enforce statutes and regulations regarding snowmobiles and ATVs on public lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the DEP.

Source: 39:3C-2.

COMMENT

This section contains the substance of the source section. Language authorizing the promulgation of regulations was eliminated from this section as it will be included in a global section authorizing regulations to effectuate the provisions of Title 39.



39A:SM-3. Registration

a. A snowmobile or ATV may not operate on or across New Jersey public highways, lands or waters unless registered by the owner. The Chief Administrator shall assign a registration number upon application and payment of a fee as follows:

(1) Resident annual registration: $5 per snowmobile, $10 per ATV;

(2) Nonresident annual registration: $7 per snowmobile, $12 per ATV;

(3) Replacement of a lost, mutilated or destroyed certificate, $5; and

(4) Duplicate or amended registration, $5.

b. All registrations shall be issued on or after September 1 and shall be valid through September 30 of the following year, except the Chief Administrator may suspend or revoke a registration for a violation of this chapter or the applicable regulations.

c. The Chief Administrator shall deposit moneys related to registrations, publications, and fees collected pursuant to this chapter to the General Treasury, except that $5 of each registration fee shall be allocated to the MVC to defray the cost of providing ATV safety education and training manuals or training programs, or both.

Source: 39:3C-3; 39:3C-29.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source sections, but it has been streamlined and consolidated.

39A:SM-4. Duration and presentation of registration

a. An assigned registration number shall remain with a snowmobile or ATV until the vehicle is destroyed, abandoned or permanently removed from the State, or until changed or terminated by the Chief Administrator.

b. An authorized form of registration shall be issued by the Chief Administrator when a snowmobile or ATV is operated on or across public highways, lands or waters.

c. The registration certificate shall be on the vehicle at all times when in operation. A person operating a snowmobile or ATV shall, upon demand of an authorized official, produce the registration and furnish information necessary to identify the vehicle and its owner. Failure to do so is presumptive evidence of operating an unregistered vehicle. A person younger than 18 who operates an ATV registered in this State shall, upon demand of an authorized official, produce a certificate confirming successful completion of an approved ATV safety education and training course. Failure to do so is presumptive evidence of the operation of the ATV in violation of this chapter.

d. The registration number shall be the only number displayed on each side of the vehicle in the manner prescribed by the Chief Administrator, except that during a special event, racing numbers may be temporarily displayed on the cowling for the duration of the race.

e. Every owner shall notify the MVC, in writing, of any change of residence within ten days after the change occurs.

f. When ownership is transferred or the use of a snowmobile or ATV is discontinued, the old registration shall be executed by the owner, identifying the change, and returned to the Chief Administrator within ten days. If ownership is transferred, the new owner shall pay the required fee, apply for a registration certificate, and include in the application the original registration number and the old registration properly signed by the previous owner. The owner of any registration certificate may obtain a duplicate from the MVC upon application and payment of the fee.

g. Every owner of a registered snowmobile or ATV shall notify the MVC, in writing, of the destruction, theft or permanent removal of such from the State, within ten days; and, in the event of destruction or theft, surrender the registration.

Source: 39:3C-4; 39:3C-5; 39:3C-8; 39:3C-9; 39:3C-10; 39:3C-11; 39:3C-12.

COMMENT


This section contains the substance of the source sections, but has been streamlined and consolidated. In subsection (e), the number ten was inserted in place of the number seven as the required number of days within which to notify the Chief Administrator of a change in residence. This change was not made for a substantive reason, but only for consistency since the other deadlines in this section are 10 days.

39A:SM-5. Registration exemptions

a. Registration is not required for a snowmobile or ATV operated on private property.

b. No registration fee shall be charged for a snowmobile or ATV owned by the federal government, the State, county or a municipal government or subdivision.

c. The registration requirements shall not apply to nonresident owners who comply with the registration and licensing laws of their jurisdiction of residence, if the snowmobile or ATV is identified in accordance with the laws of that jurisdiction and conspicuously displays that jurisdiction’s registration number. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to authorize the operation of any snowmobile or ATV contrary to the provisions of this chapter.

Source: 39:3C-6; 39:3C-7.

COMMENT


This section contains the substance of the source sections, but has been consolidated.

39A:SM-6. Prohibition on additional licensing or registration requirements

No political subdivision of this State may require additional licensing or registration of vehicles covered by this chapter. Nothing shall prohibit the requirement of a permit by State or local parks for use of snowmobiles on park lands or affect the authority of the DEP, the CEP, or those responsible for the operation of a park from adopting regulations concerning the use of snowmobiles and ATVs.

Source: 39:3C-13.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source section.

39A:SM-7. Inspection and testing

The Chief Administrator may adopt regulations regarding the inspection of snowmobiles and ATVs, including the testing of mufflers.

Source: 39:3C-25.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source section.

39A:SM-8. Regulations

a. The CEP, to minimize detrimental effects on the environment, shall adopt regulations regarding the use of snowmobiles and ATVs:

(1) Insofar as fish, wildlife and plantlife resources are affected; and

(2) On public lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the DEP.

b. The MVC shall adopt regulations regarding:

(1) Specifications relating to equipment required for safety.

(2) A comprehensive snowmobile and ATV information and safety education and training program to be offered by the MVC or the certification of programs offered by public or private entities to satisfy the training requirements. A person younger than 16 participating in an approved ATV course shall operate an ATV with an engine capacity of 90 cubic centimeters or less during the course.

(3) Effective administration and enforcement of the insurance provisions of this chapter.

(4) Special events and the granting of permits for those events, except that for special events conducted on public lands and waters under the jurisdiction of the DEP, any regulations must be approved jointly by both the CEP and the Chief Administrator.

Source: 39:3C-14; 39:3C-15; 39:3C-20.

COMMENT

This section contains the substance of the source sections, but has been streamlined and consolidated.



39A:SM-9. Minimum age to be an operator

a. A person younger than 14 shall not operate any snowmobile or ATV on public lands or waters or across a public highway.

b. A person younger than 16 shall not operate an ATV with an engine capacity greater than 90 cubic centimeters on public lands or waters or across a public highway of this State.

c. A person younger than 18 shall not operate an ATV registered in this State on public lands or waters or across a public highway of this State unless the person has completed an approved ATV safety education and training course.

Source: 39:3C-16.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source.

39A:SM-10. Operation

a. A person shall not operate a snowmobile or ATV on or within the right-of-way limits of a limited access highway.

b. A person may not operate a snowmobile or ATV on the main traveled portion or plowed snowbanks of any public highway or within the right-of-way limits except:

(1) Properly registered snowmobiles or ATVs may cross public highways, except limited access highways, as directly as possible if the crossing can be made safely and does not interfere with the movement of traffic on the highway. Before crossing, the operator shall bring the vehicle to a complete stop and shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicular traffic on the highway.

(2) When loading or unloading a snowmobile or ATV to or from a transporting vehicle in the area in which the snowmobile or ATV may be operated could cause a hazard to traffic on a public highway, it may be operated adjacent and parallel to a public highway to gain access to that operating area. The loading or unloading shall be performed with due regard to safety, at the nearest possible point to the area of operation.

c. A person may operate a snowmobile or ATV on the property of another only with the consent of the owner of the property and the person who has a contractual right to its use and must cease if consent is withdrawn.

d. No owner of real property in this State, and no person having a contractual right to its use, shall assume responsibility or incur liability for injury or damage to an owner, operator or occupant of a snowmobile or ATV which occurs during, or arises out of, the operation or use of such vehicle unless the:

(1) Operation or use is with express consent of the owner and contractual user of the property; and provisions of 2A:42A-2 et seq. or 2A:42A-6 et seq. do not limit liability; or

(2) Liability is based on the willful or malicious creation of a hazardous condition.

e. The provisions of this chapter do not apply to ATV operation and use on golf courses in this State, except subsections 39:3C-16(b) and 39:3C-26(b).

f. 39:3C-9(b) and 39:3C-16(c) do not apply to a person younger than 18 when the person operates an ATV on public lands, waters or highways incident to, or in the performance of, the operations of a farm adjacent to the area on which the vehicle is operated.

g. Owners and operators of snowmobiles and ATVs shall, when operating across a public highway or on public lands or waters, comply with the following provisions: 39:4-48 through 39:4-51; 39:4-64; 39:4-72; 39:4-80; 39:4-81; 39:4-92; 39:4-96 through 39:4-98; 39:4-99; 39:4-100; 39:4-104; 39:4-129 through 39:4-134; 39:4-203. The penalty for a violation of these provisions shall be as provided in 39:3C-28, not the penalty provided in those sections.

Source: 39:3C-17; 39:3C-18; 39:3C-30; 39:3C-30.1.

COMMENT


This section contains the substance of the source sections. In subsection (b)(2), it was not clear from the language of the original statute whether the existing language is supposed to be limited to the situation specified (driving the ATV to a location where it may be ridden), or whether snowmobiles or ATVs may permissibly be driven some distance along a highway, if, for example, the rider lived several miles from the area in which s/he wished to ride an ATV. This will be clarified. The string of citations in subsection (g) is not particularly helpful since it lacks any reference to the substance of the cited sections. Including descriptive language would make the section longer, but might be useful.

39A:SM-11. Liability insurance

a. No snowmobile or ATV shall be operated unless the owner has a policy of insurance acceptable to the Department of Insurance from an authorized insurance carrier. The terms of the policy shall indemnify, for damages arising out of the negligent operation of the vehicle with a limit, exclusive of interest and costs, of at least:

(1) $15,000 for the injury to, or death of, one person, in any one accident;

(2) $30,000 for the injury to or death of, more than one person, in any one accident; and

(3) $5,000 for damage to property in any one accident.

b. The Chief Administrator may, upon application of the State or a municipality with at least one snowmobile or ATV registered in its name, waive the requirement of a private insurance carrier and issue a certificate of self-insurance if satisfied of the financial ability to respond to judgments arising out of ownership or operation of the vehicle.

c. Proof of insurance shall be produced by the owner or operator of a snowmobile or ATV upon request of a law enforcement officer or a person who claims to have suffered either personal injury or property damage as a result of its operation.

d. An owner of a snowmobile or ATV who operates or permits its operation without the required liability insurance coverage, and any person who operates a vehicle with the knowledge that the owner does not have such insurance coverage is guilty of a class D offense.

Source: 39:3C-20.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source but is has been streamlined and reordered. The section designates penalty according to the new penalty classification system contained in 39A:44-GP1.

39A:SM-12. Report of accidents

The operator of any snowmobile or ATV involved in an accident resulting in injuries or death to any person or in property damage shall comply with the procedures in 39:4-129 and 39:4-130.

Source: 39:3C-21.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source.

39A:SM-13. Equipment

All snowmobiles and ATVs operating within this State shall be equipped with:

a. At least one white or amber headlamp of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and vehicles at a distance of at least 100 feet ahead during the hours of darkness under normal atmospheric conditions.

b. At least one red tail lamp with sufficient intensity to exhibit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear during the hours of darkness under normal atmospheric conditions.

c. A brake system in good mechanical condition.

d. Reflector material of a minimum area of 16 square inches mounted on each side of the cowling. Registration numbers or other decorative material may be included in computing the required 16-square-inch area.

e. An adequate muffler system in good working condition.

Source: 39:3C-24.

COMMENT

This section is substantially identical to the source. In subsections (a) and (b) the words “having a minimum candlepower” were eliminated. They appeared before the words “of sufficient intensity” and it appeared that they were surplusage, but this will be confirmed.



39A:SM-14. Unlawful acts; enforcement

a. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a snowmobile or ATV:

(1) Or ride as a passenger on one without wearing an approved protective helmet of a type acceptable for use in conjunction with motorcycles as provided in 39:3- 76.7 through 39:3-76.10.

(2) Not equipped with working headlights, taillights, brakes and a proper and unmodified muffler system as supplied by the motor manufacturer for the particular model.

(3) In such a manner as to cause an objectionable or unreasonable noise.

(4) In any manner intended or reasonably to be expected to harass, drive or pursue any wildlife.

(5) During the hours from one-half hour before sunset to one-half hour after sunrise without lighted headlights and taillights.

(6) Upon a railroad or right-of-way of an operating railroad, except railroad personnel in the performance of their duties.

(7) In violation of any provision of this chapter or any applicable regulation.

b. Violation of any provision of this chapter or applicable regulation is a class C offense if no other penalty is specifically provided.

c. Every law enforcement officer in the State, including authorized officers of the MVC, DEP, forest rangers and State park police shall enforce this chapter within their respective jurisdictions.

Source: 39:3C-19; 39:3C-27; 39:3C-28.

COMMENT

This section contains the substance of the source. The section designates penalty according to the new penalty classification system contained in 39A:44-GP1.



39A:SM-15. Special events

a. The Chief Administrator may authorize the holding of organized special events, shall adopt regulations determining which special events are subject to MVC permit, and shall designate the equipment and facilities necessary for the safe operation of snowmobiles and ATVs and the safety of operators, participants, and observers. Copies of the pertinent regulations shall be furnished by the MVC upon request.

b. When a special event requiring permit of the MVC is to be held in this State, the person in charge shall file an approved application with the Chief Administrator at least 20 days before the proposed event. The event may not be held without prior written authorization of the Chief Administrator and, if the event is to be held upon public lands or waters, an additional written authorization of the CEP.

c. Any person sponsoring an event who violates this section or an applicable regulation is guilty of a class C offense.

d. Snowmobiles and ATVs operated at special events are exempt from the provisions of this chapter concerning registration and lights during the event, including all prerace practice at the location of the event. ATVs operated at special events are exempt from the provisions of 39:3C-16(c) and 39:3C-9(b); however, 39:3C-16(b) shall apply to persons operating ATVs at special events and prerace practices.

Source: 39:3C-22; 39:3C-23.

COMMENT

This section contains the substance of the source sections but has been consolidated. The section designates penalty according to the new penalty classification system contained in 39A:44-GP1.



39A:SM-16. Prohibition on sale of vehicle not in compliance with law

a. No person shall offer for sale or sell in this State a snowmobile or ATV which fails to comply with the provisions of this chapter or the regulations containing specifications for equipment.

b. A person shall not knowingly sell or offer to sell an ATV with an engine capacity of greater than 90 cubic centimeters for use by a person younger than 16.

c. Retail dealers and distributors of ATVs shall comply with the requirements of the consent decree entered into by ATV distributors and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission on April 28, 1988 which require the providing of safety information on ATVs to either the purchasers or retail dealers of such vehicles, as appropriate.

Source: 39:3C-26.

COMMENT


This section is substantially identical to the source.


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