ALBANY, N.Y. – New Yorkers will wait at least another year to register UTVs and side-by-sides, as a bill that would have provided for registering the heavier ATVs died in the state Legislature on the eve of the current session’s close.
Vehicles weighing more than 1,500 lbs. are still not allowed on New York trails, now that the bill has died. Environmentalists opposed A.4971, which would have amended definition of ATVs to include vehicles up to 70 inches long and 1,500 lbs. “which consist of a side-by-side passenger configuration for up to three passengers and which include certain safety features.”
Sponsor Assemblywoman Addie Russell said the bill progressed further than previous efforts and vowed to pursue UTV registration again in the next session.
“The legislation I have been pushing in the Assembly to allow for certain UTVs to weigh more than regular ATVs so that they can be registered at the DMV has drawn significant opposition,” she said on her media blog. “While the bill was reported out of the Transportation Committee and then out of the Codes committee, the opposition prevented the bill from being considered by the Ways and Means Committee. My bill has made it further than any bill of this kind in the Assembly in many years and it will continue to be one of my top priorities moving forward.
“In an attempt to further the increased weight issue after it had stalled, I proposed an amendment to my bill to spur a dialogue between the ATV community and environmental advocate groups,” she said. “The amendment was well received by the advocates, but in the end, they were unable to reach consensus to move forward at this time. The proposed amendment has been taken off the table, meaning our work will need to continue in order to gain approval of the heavier side-by-side UTVs.”
Environmental groups were concerned that the heavier vehicles would speed erosion and create more pollution on public lands.