Powersports Regulation Update

motorcycle law motorcycle regulation PWC snowmobile driver's license motorcycle license ATV

INDIANA Vanderburgh County officials have legalized ATV use on gravel roads. Some residents say they would like to see the law widened to include rural blacktop roads.

LOUISIANA ATVs and other motorized vehicles are now confined to pre-existing roads and trails designed for their use in the Kisatchie National Forest. "I have seen tremendous soil damage, erosion of creek banks, reduction in water quality and destruction of forest vegetation. This unsightly damage was caused by misuse of off-road vehicles," forest supervisor Gretta Boley told the Associated Press in late July. The new restrictions went into effect Aug. 1.

MICHIGAN The recently enacted Ashleigh Iserman's Law increases the minimum age for operating a personal watercraft without supervision to 16 years old from 14 years old. However, the law doesn't go into effect until October 2011; until then, 14-and 15-year-olds can continue to ride PWCs unaccompanied. The law was named in honor of Iserman, who died from injuries sustained in a PWC crash in 2004.

NEW HAMPSHIRE The state is mandating helmets and eye protection for anyone under age 18 who rides a snowmobile and/or an ATV. Previously, minors were required to wear protective gear, but the state did not specify what kind.

SOUTH CAROLINA Motorcyclists may run red lights after they stop at intersections, according to a bill signed by Gov. Mark Sanford earlier this summer. The law requires riders of motorcycles, mopeds and bicycles to stop for two minutes before entering an intersection if the traffic signal has not yet turned green. Arkansas, Idaho, Minnesota, North Carolina, Tennessee and Wisconsin have enacted similar laws.