New Laws On Off-Highway Vehicle Use Take Effect Jan. 1

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Thanks in large part to a joint effort between Arizona sportsmen and off-highway vehicle (OHV) user groups, new regulations to help better manage off-highway vehicle use and protect natural resources will go into effect Jan. 1, 2009.

New requirements include:

• Staying on roads and trails. Travel by motorized vehicles that causes damage to wildlife habitat, riparian areas, cultural or natural resources, or property or improvements is prohibited. Travel is limited to roads, trails and areas that are designated open by the land management agency for motorized vehicle use.

• Purchase of an annual sticker through the Arizona Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Division validating use of the OHV in Arizona. This will be a flat fee that is yet to be determined and will be applied to those OHVs primarily designed by the manufacturer for off-highway use and weighing 1,800 pounds or less. This includes all-terrain vehicles, side-by-sides, dirt bikes and sand rails. Trucks, sport utility vehicles, cars, and other recreational vehicles will not be affected.

• Sound restrictions for OHVs generating sound greater than 96 decibels.

• Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to wear a USDOT-approved helmet when riding any OHV.

The goal of the new regulations is to provide better OHV management and protection of natural resources while maintaining access.

Funds generated from this program will be used to help ensure sustainable opportunities by bolstering grant programs that pay for maintenance, signage, mitigation, education and enforcement.

Remember to leave no trace and that Nature Rules! Stay on Roads and Trails.

Further information on the new regulations will be posted at www.azgfd.gov/ohv when it becomes available.

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