join the cool folks
and advertise on

california political news & opinion
california legislation > AB 1595

Microsoft Word version

|Office of Senate Floor Analyses | |
|1020 N Street, Suite 524| |
|(916) 651-1520 Fax: (916) | |
|327-4478 | |


Bill No: AB 1595
Author: Cook (R)
Amended: 5/21/12 in Assembly
Vote: 21

AYES: DeSaulnier, Gaines, Harman, Kehoe, Lowenthal,
Pavley, Rubio, Simitian, Wyland

: Senate Rule 28.8

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 71-0, 5/25/12 - See last page for vote

SUBJECT : Recreational off-highway vehicles

SOURCE : Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association

DIGEST : This bill defines recreational off-highway
vehicles (ROHVs) and prescribes safety regulations for
their use in California.

ANALYSIS : A person may not drive a motor vehicle on any
street, road, or highway open to the public (highway)
unless the owner registers the vehicle with the Department
of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Existing law prohibits the
operator of an off-highway motor vehicle (OHV) from driving
the OHV upon any highway, except to cross a highway or when
a highway is closed due to snow. OHVs include several
types of vehicles not designed or intended for highway use,
including dune buggies, certain motor bikes, snowmobiles,

AB 1595

and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).

In order to operate an OHV on public lands, the owner must
apply to DMV to register the OHV and receive an OHV
identification sticker, which serves in lieu of a license
plate and includes a unique number for each OHV.

Existing law generally allows a person of any age to
operate an OHV, provided that the person can reach the
controls necessary to operate the vehicle safely, and
prescribes various rules for the operation of and equipment
on specified OHVs. For example, while on public lands the
operator of an ATV must wear a helmet and may not transport

This bill:

1. Defines ROHVs as a motor vehicle designed for operation
primarily off of the highway and that has:

A steering wheel;
Non-straddle seating for the operator and
A maximum speed capability of greater than 30
miles per hour; and
An engine displacement equal to or less than
1,000 cubic centimeters.

2. Includes ROHVs among OHVs subject to DMV registration
and identification requirements.

3. Establishes requirements for the operation of ROHVs on
public lands, including:

An ROHV operator must be at least 16 years old or
be directly supervised in the vehicle by a parent,
guardian, or adult authorized by a parent or guardian;

ROHV operators and passengers must wear safety
helmets as well as seatbelts and shoulder belts or
safety harnesses that are properly fastened when the
vehicle is moving;

AB 1595

All passengers must occupy seats provided by the
manufacturer; and

An ROHV passenger must be able to grasp the
occupant handhold with the seat-shoulder belt or
safety harness fastened while seated upright with his
or her back up against the seatback and with both feet
flat on the floorboard.


Purpose of the bill . The author introduced this bill at
the request of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle
Association to define ROHVs as a distinct and separate
class of vehicles and establish specific requirements
governing their safe operation and use. The sponsor
indicates that the primary reason for distinguishing these
vehicles is that ROHVs handle differently from ATVs, which
a rider maneuvers by gripping the handle bars and leaning
into turns in a saddle-type seat. ROHVs operate more like
a car, where the driver and passengers sit in full seats
and the driver uses a steering wheel to maneuver the
vehicle. The sponsor indicates that because these vehicles
are relatively new and different, no existing laws directly
govern their safe operation. This bill corrects that.

The state currently allows ROHVs to operate in its
off-highway vehicle recreation areas. By prescribing
operational requirements for ROHV use, this bill will
provide rangers at these recreational vehicle areas a basis
for enforcing safety and vehicle identification
requirements for ROHVs.

FISCAL EFFECT : Appropriation: No Fiscal Com.: Yes
Local: Yes

SUPPORT : (Verified 7/2/12)

Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (source)
Kawasaki Motors Corporation, U.S.A.

ASSEMBLY FLOOR : 71-0, 5/25/12
AYES: Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Beall, Block,

AB 1595

Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, Brownley, Buchanan,
Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, Carter, Cedillo,
Chesbro, Conway, Cook, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, Eng,
Feuer, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Beth Gaines, Galgiani,
Garrick, Gatto, Gordon, Gorell, Hagman, Halderman,
Harkey, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, Hill, Huber, Hueso,
Huffman, Jeffries, Jones, Lara, Logue, Bonnie Lowenthal,
Mansoor, Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, Morrell,
Nestande, Nielsen, Norby, Olsen, Pan, V. Manuel Pérez,
Portantino, Skinner, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson, Torres,
Valadao, Wagner, Wieckowski, Williams, Yamada, John A.
NO VOTE RECORDED: Atkins, Bill Berryhill, Fletcher, Grove,
Hall, Knight, Ma, Perea, Silva

JJA:m 7/2/12 Senate Floor Analyses


**** END ****