New Laws Shape Powersports Industry in Seven States

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The Motorcycle Industry Council (MIC) recently revealed new laws that'll impact the powersports industry in seven states.

In California, legislation passed into law in late July appropriates $54.6 million from the OHV Fund to support the Department of Parks & Recreation, and transfers $22 million from the OHV Fund to the General Fund as loan but does not stipulate a repayment date.

In Illinois, the first of two new laws allows local governments to authorize operation of non-highway vehicles on roadways if it is determined that public safety will not be jeopardized. The law, which takes effect June 1, 2010, requires vehicles have brakes, steering apparatus, tires, rearview mirror, front and rear red reflectorized warning devices, slow moving emblem on rear, white headlight visible from 500 feet, red tail lamp visible from 100 feet, brake lights and turn signals. The operator must have driver's license and may only operate on streets with posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.

A second new law in Illinois allows the posting of vehicle recall notices by retailers to be in electronic format. The law, in effect as of Aug. 18, requires the recall or warning notice to be on the main page of any electronic display, or to be linked from the main page. Current law requires retailers to physically post recall or warning notice in each retail store.

In Nevada, vehicle dealers will be required to prominently disclose estimated amount of CO2 emitted for each vehicle offered for sale beginning with model year 2012, unless the information is unavailable. Nevada's DMV intends to use California's emissions labeling program to determine whether a vehicle's emissions estimates are "available." If a vehicle was not required to have a label under the California program, then emissions estimates for that vehicle wouldn't be available.

In North Carolina a law taking effect Oct. 1, 2009, increases the statute of limitations for actions for recovery of damages for personal injury, death or damage to property based on alleged defect or failure from six years to 12 years after date of initial purchase.

In Ohio a law that took effect in mid July repeals the minimum 12-year age for OHV operation on DNR land, although operators under age 16 are still required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian who is a licensed driver age 18 or older; exempts owners of OHVs purchased prior to 10/1/05 that weren't titled from requirements to present title in order to register; and exempts OHVs from registration requirements if the vehicle is used primarily for agricultural purposes.

Another Ohio law, which also took effect in mid July, appropriates $3,324,987 in 2010 and $3,538,903 in 2011 to fund the state's Motorcycle Safety Education Program. It also Provides that no person with a valid driver's or commercial license to be required to have a motorcycle operator's endorsement to operate "a three-wheeled motorcycle of 50cc or under."

Finally, in Oregon, legislation that recently passed into law moves $350,000 from the ATV Account to the Invasive Species Control Account.

—Submitted by Guido Ebert