NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A586
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the opera-
tion of all-terrain vehicles by minors
To raise the age of ATV operators to fourteen years of age, in certain
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:
Section one of the bill amends Section 2409(2) of Article 48C of the New
York State Vehicle and Traffic Law to change the age of completing an
ATV safety course and earning an ATV safety certificate from ten years
of age to fourteen years of age.
Section 2 of the bill amends Section 2410 (1) and (2) to eliminate the
possibility of a sixteen year old with an ATV safety certificate super-
vising a minor operating an ATV and to change the age of legal operation
of an ATV by a minor from ten years of age to fourteen years of age,
under certain circumstances.
Section 3 provides the effective date.
Recent serious accidents and fatalities involving minors operating All-
Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) have highlighted the need to enact legislation.
In a study published by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences,
which looked at accidents involving individuals eighteen and under
between the years 2004 and 2014, 75% of the ATV fatalities were victims
between the ages of ten and fourteen.* During this period, over 30,000
children age fourteen and under went to emergency rooms for ATV-related
injuries, including fractured bones, head and facial injuries.**
ATVs, depending on the particular model, can weigh 600 pounds or more,
and reach speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour. Machines of this size and
speed are not suitable for young children to operate. According to the
American Academy of Pediatrics, operating ATVs is especially dangerous
for young children, given their smaller size and relative immaturity; in
addition, the group believes that children are "not developmentally
capable of operating these heavy, complex machines." ***
This legislation amends the Vehicle and Traffic Law and makes several
changes to promote greater ATV safety and to prevent tragedies involving
minors. First, the allowable age to receive an ATV safety certificate
will be raised from the current ten years to fourteen years or older.
Currently, children as young as ten are permitted to earn an ATV safety
certificate from the Department of Motor Vehicles by taking an approved
safety course. Next, in relation to the operation of an ATV, children
under sixteen will only be allowed to operate an ATV on public land, as
permitted by section 2403 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as long as
they are supervised by someone eighteen years or older. They would no
longer be permitted to be supervised in the alternative by someone over
sixteen who holds an ATV safety certificate. In addition, the bill rais-
es to fourteen years old (from the current ten) the age at which a minor
who has received a safety certificate may operate an ATV in the same
manner as someone who is sixteen or older, meaning without supervision
and on any area of land that is permissible for those sixteen and older.
The Legislature must take steps to protect young children, whose inexpe-
rience and lack of understanding of the potential dangers associated
with ATV riding make them a vulnerable population. Raising the age to
receive a safety certificate and operate an ATV in the same manner as a
sixteen year old, as well as removing the provision in the law allowing
for supervision by someone sixteen or older who has a safety certif-
icate, will help to prevent senseless accidents and deaths.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
2020: A.6087, ordered to third reading / S.5035, referred to transporta-
2019: A.6087, advanced to third reading / S.5035, passed Senate.
This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
itshall have become a law.
*ATVs and Youth: Matching Children and Vehicles. Dennis J. Murphy and
William C. Harshman, Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences.
Available at http://nasdonline.org/static_content/
documents/1887/d001829.pdf. **Id ***ATVs Are Dangerous to Children: New
Data Demonstrates Continued Risk of Injury and Death. American Academy
of Pediatrics. January 23, 2018. Available athttps://www.aap.org/en-
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 6, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. PAULIN, CRUZ, JEAN-PIERRE, REYES, SAYEGH, GOTT-
FRIED, GALEF, DeSTEFANO, MONTESANO, McDONOUGH, WALLACE, STECK, TAYLOR,
FAHY, JACOBSON -- Multi-Sponsored by -- M. of A. EPSTEIN, SIMON --
read once and referred to the Committee on Transportation
AN ACT to amend the vehicle and traffic law, in relation to the opera-
tion of all-terrain vehicles by minors
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 2409 of the vehicle and traffic
2 law, as added by chapter 402 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as
4 2. Safety certificate. Upon successful completion of a safety course
5 given in conformity with subdivision one of this section by a person
6 [ten] fourteen years of age or over, the person or entity which gave the
7 course shall notify the commissioner of such completion in a manner
8 prescribed by the commissioner. The commissioner shall, upon receipt of
9 such information, issue an ATV safety certificate to the person who has
10 successfully completed the course. Such certificate may be limited to
11 the type of vehicle for which the course was given.
12 § 2. Subdivisions 1 and 2 of section 2410 of the vehicle and traffic
13 law, as added by chapter 402 of the laws of 1986, are amended to read as
15 1. Except as provided by subdivision two of this section, no person
16 under the age of sixteen years shall operate an ATV except upon lands
17 owned or leased by his or her parent or guardian, unless he or she is
18 under general supervision of a person eighteen years of age or over [or
19 a person sixteen years of age or over who holds an ATV safety certif-
20 icate]. "Leased lands" as herein used shall not include lands leased by
21 an organization of which said operator or his or her parent or guardian
22 is a member.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 586 2
1 2. A person [ten] fourteen years of age but less than sixteen years of
2 age who has received safety training as prescribed by the commissioner
3 and has received the appropriate ATV safety certificate issued by the
4 commissioner may operate an ATV in the same manner as a person who is
5 sixteen years of age or older.
6 § 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after
7 it shall have become a law.