STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 22, 2021
Introduced by Sens. RITCHIE, GRIFFO -- read twice and ordered printed,
and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Cultural Affairs,
Tourism, Parks and Recreation
AN ACT to amend the parks, recreation and historic preservation law, the
vehicle and traffic law, the state finance law and the environmental
conservation law, in relation to the creation of an ATV trail fund and
the use of ATVs
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Legislative intent and purpose. In order to best organize
2 and sustain an environmentally sensitive statewide system of trails for
3 all terrain vehicles, the legislature hereby creates an ATV trail fund.
4 The control and supervision of the trail fund shall be maintained by the
5 office of parks, recreation and historic preservation upon consultation
6 with the department of environmental conservation. The trail fund is
7 created for the purpose of designating state, municipal and private
8 lands as part of a statewide network of ATV trails. Fees obtained by the
9 office of parks, recreation and historic preservation for the mainte-
10 nance of the trail fund shall be divided between administration,
11 enforcement, education and remediation and maintenance, construction and
12 development of the statewide trail system. It is the purpose of this
13 act to promote the safe and proper use of all terrain vehicles for
14 recreation and commerce in this state by encouraging their use and
15 development, while minimizing detrimental effects of such use upon the
17 § 2. Title D of the parks, recreation and historic preservation law is
18 amended by adding a new article 26 to read as follows:
19 ARTICLE 26
20 ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE TRAIL FUND
21 Section 26.01 Trail plan.
22 26.03 Rules and regulations.
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
S. 2708 2
1 § 26.01 Trail plan. The department shall prepare a statewide all-ter-
2 rain vehicle trail plan providing for recreational use of "all terrain
3 vehicles" or "ATVs" on permitted state and municipal lands and ATV
4 designated trails on private lands to establish a statewide network of
5 ATV trails. For purposes of this article, "ATV" means an all terrain
6 vehicle as defined in section twenty-two hundred eighty-one of the vehi-
7 cle and traffic law.
8 § 26.03 Rules and regulations. 1. The department shall promulgate
9 regulations for the use of ATVs with a view towards achieving maximum
10 use of ATVs and minimizing the detrimental effect thereof upon the envi-
11 ronment. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the department or the
12 department of environmental conservation pursuant to section 9-0303 of
13 the environmental conservation law from authorizing other ATV use on
14 state owned lands. The commissioner shall adopt rules and regulations
15 relating to and including, but not limited to the following:
16 a. Use of ATVs insofar as fish and wildlife resources and natural
17 resources of the state.
18 b. Use of ATVs on public lands under the jurisdiction of the depart-
19 ment, providing for incorporating recreational and sportsman use into
20 UMPs developed for such lands.
21 c. Uniform signs or markers.
22 d. Requirements for protection of private property or therein occa-
23 sioned by the use of ATVs.
24 e. Establishment of a comprehensive ATV information and safety educa-
25 tion and training program, including provision for the issuance of ATV
26 operation and safety certificates for operation of ATVs by youthful
27 operators and adult operators without a valid driver's license.
28 f. Requirements that new connector trails must comply with state laws
29 and regulations and, where applicable for state-owned lands, comply with
30 a unit management plan and be subject to full public review and hear-
32 g. Requirements for municipalities for the designation of ATV use on
33 other public lands must be consistent with environmental impact assess-
34 ments as prescribed by 6 NYCRR Part 617, and paragraph b of subdivision
35 one and paragraph m of subdivision two of section 3-0301 and section
36 8-0113 of the environmental conservation law.
37 h. Provisions for current trails and trails pending approval on or
38 before the effective date of this article are preserved in perpetuity
39 and nothing shall restrict the use of commissioner policy three (CP3)
40 permits issued by the department of environmental conservation on these
42 i. Provisions prohibiting the use of ATVs on state owned lands classi-
43 fied as the following: Albany Pine Bush, Long Island Pine Barrens, or
44 land or water classified as primitive or canoe pursuant to the master
45 plan for management of state land.
46 2. Operation by youthful operators shall be as follows:
47 a. Persons between ten and fourteen years old must hold a valid safety
48 certificate and be accompanied by an adult.
49 b. Persons between fifteen and eighteen years old must hold a valid
50 safety certificate or driver's license.
51 § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 2282 of the vehicle and traffic law, as
52 amended by chapter 402 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as
54 1. Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall operate any ATV
55 within the state on lands other than those privately owned by the ATV
56 owner unless such ATV has been registered and numbered in accordance
S. 2708 3
1 with the provisions of this article, and the registration number for
2 such ATV is in full force and effect and displayed as provided under
3 this article and regulations promulgated thereunder.
4 § 4. Paragraph (g) of subdivision 4 of section 2282 of the vehicle and
5 traffic law, as amended by chapter 402 of the laws of 1986, is amended
6 and a new paragraph (h) is added to read as follows:
7 (g) Annual fees shall not be prorated and such fees shall be applica-
8 ble to a year or any portion of a year. [Notwithstanding any inconsist-
9 ent provision of this section, the difference collected between the fees
10 set forth in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this subdivision in effect on and
11 after September first, two thousand nine and the fees set forth in such
12 paragraphs in effect prior to such date shall be deposited to the credit
13 of the dedicated highway and bridge trust fund.]
14 (h) Fees collected pursuant to this section shall be deposited into
15 the ATV trail fund established pursuant to section ninety-nine-ii of the
16 state finance law, and used only for those purposes enumerated in such
18 § 5. Subdivision 12 of section 2282 of the vehicle and traffic law, as
19 added by chapter 671 of the laws of 1985, is amended to read as follows:
20 12. Out of state ATV registration. (a) The registration provisions of
21 this article shall not apply to non-resident owners who have registered
22 their ATVs in compliance with the registration and licensing laws of the
23 state, province, district or country of residence, provided that the ATV
24 is appropriately identified in accordance with the laws of the state of
25 residence. The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to a resi-
26 dent of another state, province, district or country which does not have
27 an ATV registration and identification law. Nothing in this subdivision
28 shall be construed to authorize the operation of any ATV contrary to the
29 provisions of this article.
30 (b) Non-resident owners who have registered their ATVs in compliance
31 with the registration and licensing laws of a jurisdiction out of the
32 state, or who reside in a jurisdiction which does not have an ATV regis-
33 tration and identification law, shall pay an annual fee, equal to that
34 provided for pursuant to paragraph (b) of subdivision four of this
35 section to lawfully operate such ATV in the state on lands other than
36 those privately owned by the ATV owner.
37 § 6. Section 2404 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter
38 402 of the laws of 1986, paragraph (e) of subdivision 1 and subdivision
39 3 as amended by chapter 554 of the laws of 2005, is amended to read as
41 § 2404. Operating rules. 1. No person shall operate an ATV:
42 (a) at a rate of speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under
43 the conditions and having regard to the actual and potential hazards
44 then existing or faster than fifty-five miles per hour;
45 (b) in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to unreasonably
46 endanger the person or property of another or cause injury or damage
48 (c) on the tracks or right-of-way of an operating railroad;
49 (d) in any tree nursery or planting in a manner that damages or
50 destroys growing stock, or creates a substantial risk thereto;
51 (e) while pulling a person on skis or drawing or towing a sleigh,
52 sled, toboggan, inflatable device or trailer which carries or transports
53 any person unless attached by a rigid support, connection or towbar;
54 (f) on the frozen surface of public waters: within one hundred feet of
55 any person other than a person riding on an ATV except at the minimum
56 speed required to maintain forward movement of the ATV, nor within one
S. 2708 4
1 hundred feet of a fishing shanty or shelter except at the minimum speed
2 required to maintain forward movement of the ATV nor on an area which
3 has been cleared of snow for skating purposes unless the area is neces-
4 sary for access to the public water;
5 (g) within one hundred feet of a dwelling between midnight and six
6 a.m., at a speed greater than minimum required to maintain forward move-
7 ment of the ATV;
8 (h) on public lands, other than highways, or on private property of
9 another while in an intoxicated condition or under the influence of
10 narcotics or drugs;
11 (i) on state lands under the jurisdiction of the department of envi-
12 ronmental conservation and on conservation easements under such depart-
13 ment's jurisdiction or on state lands under the jurisdiction of the
14 office of parks, recreation and historic preservation, except as specif-
15 ically authorized by the department of environmental conservation pursu-
16 ant to section 9-0303 of the environmental conservation law and as
17 authorized by the office of parks, recreation and historic preservation
18 pursuant to article twenty-six of the parks, recreation and historic
19 preservation law;
20 (j) on private lands unless expressly permitted; or
21 (k) while failing or refusing to comply with law enforcement.
22 2. The operator of an ATV shall:
23 (a) stop and yield to an authorized ambulance, civil defense, or
24 police ATV or police vehicle being operated as an emergency vehicle and
25 approaching from any direction;
26 (b) comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer or
27 other person duly empowered to enforce the laws relating to ATVs;
28 (c) keep the ATV lights on between sunset and sunrise;
29 (d) wear a helmet;
30 (e) comply with the rules of the road including but not limited to
31 adherence to signage, posted speed limits, traveling on the right edge
32 of the paved/road surface and riding single file.
33 3. [No person shall ride on or in a sleigh, sled, toboggan, inflatable
34 device or trailer which is being towed or trailed by an ATV unless
35 attached by a rigid support, connection or towbar.
36 4. A person operating an ATV shall ride only upon the permanent and
37 regular seat attached thereto, and such operator shall not carry any
38 other person nor shall any other person ride on an ATV unless such ATV
39 is designed to carry more than one person, in which event a passenger
40 may ride upon the permanent and regular seat if designed for two
41 persons, or upon another seat firmly attached to the ATV at the rear or
42 side of the operator.
43 5.] For the purposes of title seven of this chapter, an ATV shall be a
44 motor vehicle and the provisions of such title shall be applicable to
46 [6.] 4. Local laws and ordinances. Nothing contained in this article
47 shall be deemed to limit the authority of a county, city, town or
48 village from adopting or amending a local law or ordinance which imposes
49 stricter restrictions and conditions on the operation of ATVs than are
50 provided or authorized by this section so long as such local law or
51 ordinance is consistent with its authority to protect the order,
52 conduct, health, safety and general welfare of persons or property.
53 § 7. Section 2411 of the vehicle and traffic law, as added by chapter
54 402 of the laws of 1986, is amended to read as follows:
55 § 2411. 1. Liability for negligence. Negligence in the use [of] or
56 operation of an ATV shall be attributable to the owner. Every owner of
S. 2708 5
1 an ATV used or operated in this state on lands other than those private-
2 ly owned by the ATV owner must be insured. Owners of ATVs used or oper-
3 ated in this state shall be liable and responsible for death or injury
4 to [person] persons or damage to property resulting from negligence in
5 the use or operation of such ATV [by any person using or operating the
6 same with the permission, express or implied, of such owner, provided,
7 however, that such operator's negligence shall not be attributed to the
8 owner as to any claim or cause of action accruing to the operator or his
9 legal representative for such injuries or death].
10 2. Duties of ATV owners and operators. It is recognized that driving
11 an ATV is a voluntary activity that may be hazardous. It shall be the
12 duty of ATV owners and operators:
13 (a) To keep their ATVs in proper working order.
14 (b) To follow any and all other rules of conduct as are prescribed
15 pursuant to section 26.03 of the parks, recreation and historic preser-
16 vation law.
17 (c) Not to operate an ATV in any area not designated for driving ATVs.
18 (d) Not to operate an ATV beyond the conditions that limit speed.
19 (e) To familiarize themselves with rules of the trail.
20 (f) Not to leave the scene of any accident resulting in personal inju-
21 ry or damage to the property beyond the trail.
22 § 8. The state finance law is amended by adding a new section 99-ii to
23 read as follows:
24 § 99-ii. ATV trail fund. 1. There is hereby established in the joint
25 custody of the commissioner of parks, recreation and historic preserva-
26 tion and the comptroller a fund to be known as the "ATV trail fund".
27 2. The ATV trail fund shall consist of moneys appropriated thereto,
28 and funds transferred from any other fund or source including the
29 payment of fees pursuant to section twenty-two hundred eighty-two of the
30 vehicle and traffic law.
31 3. Ten percent of all moneys in the ATV trail fund shall be available
32 for the administrative costs of administering such fund. Forty-five
33 percent of all moneys in the ATV trail fund shall be made available for
34 the maintenance, construction and development of the statewide trail
35 system. Forty-five percent of all moneys in the ATV trail fund shall be
36 made available for enforcing and educating the public about the
37 provisions of article twenty-six of the parks, recreation and historic
38 preservation law.
39 4. Monies shall be payable from the fund on the audit and warrant of
40 the state comptroller on vouchers approved and certified by the commis-
41 sioner of parks, recreation and historic preservation.
42 § 9. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 2281 of the vehicle and
43 traffic law, as amended by chapter 319 of the laws of 1997, is amended
44 to read as follows:
45 (a) "All terrain vehicle" or "ATV" means any self-propelled vehicle
46 which is manufactured for sale for operation primarily on off-highway
47 trails or off-highway competitions and only incidentally operated on
48 public highways providing that such vehicle does not exceed seventy
49 inches in width, or one thousand five hundred pounds dry weight.
50 Provided, however, this definition shall not include a "snowmobile" or
51 other self-propelled vehicles manufactured for off-highway use exclu-
52 sively designed for travel on snow or ice, steered by skis or runners
53 and supported in whole or in part by one or more skis, belts or cleats
54 which utilize an endless belt tread.
55 § 10. The vehicle and traffic law is amended by adding a new section
56 2414 to read as follows:
S. 2708 6
1 § 2414. Trespass violation fine. Operators of ATVs which have been
2 cited for trespass shall be fined one hundred dollars for a first
3 violation; two hundred dollars for a second violation within three
4 hundred sixty-five days of the initial violation; and five hundred
5 dollars for subsequent violations within three hundred sixty-five days
6 of the initial violation. The money collected from the fines shall be
7 put into the ATV trail fund established by section ninety-nine-ii of the
8 state finance law and shall be split fifty percent for enforcement,
9 education and remediation and the other fifty percent for trail mainte-
10 nance and trail construction and development.
11 § 11. Section 1-0303 of the environmental conservation law is amended
12 by adding four new subdivisions 26, 27, 28, and 29 to read as follows:
13 26. "All terrain vehicle" or "ATV" shall have the meaning set forth in
14 paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section twenty-two hundred eighty-
15 one of the vehicle and traffic law.
16 27. "Connector trail" shall mean a public highway or portion thereof
17 open for travel by ATVs, any trails or portions thereof; and any exist-
18 ing railroad beds and private roads or portions thereof.
19 28. "Private road" shall have the meaning set forth in section one
20 hundred thirty-three of the vehicle and traffic law.
21 29. "Public highway" shall have the meaning set forth in section one
22 hundred thirty-four of the vehicle and traffic law.
23 § 12. Section 9-0303 of the environmental conservation law is amended
24 by adding a new subdivision 8 to read as follows:
25 8. All terrain vehicles. a. The public use of ATVs, as defined in
26 paragraph (a) of subdivision one of section twenty-two hundred eighty-
27 one of the vehicle and traffic law, on state lands under the depart-
28 ment's jurisdiction and on conservation easements under the department's
29 jurisdiction is prohibited except as specifically authorized by the
30 department in consultation with the office of parks, recreation and
31 historic preservation pursuant to this subdivision.
32 b. After April first, two thousand twenty-two, the department, in
33 consultation with the office of parks, recreation and historic preserva-
34 tion may authorize the public use of ATVs on forest preserve lands by
35 the general public both inside and outside the boundaries of the Adiron-
36 dack park or Catskill park and on other state-owned lands under the
37 department's jurisdiction which are located within the boundaries of the
38 Adirondack park or the Catskill park for connector trails only.
39 c. Connector trails on forest preserve lands inside the Adirondack
40 park boundary:
41 i. shall follow the shortest reasonable route that is reasonably
42 protective of the environment and wildlife;
43 ii. shall not individually exceed one and one-half mile in length; and
44 iii. shall not exceed a total mileage of forty-five and such mileage
45 shall be administered by the department; provided, however, that in the
46 event that the total area of the Adirondack Park is expanded after the
47 effective date of this subdivision, such forty-five total mileage limi-
48 tation shall be expanded to reflect the ratio that forty-five miles is
49 to the total acreage of such park on April first, two thousand twenty-
51 Provided, however, connector trails in use prior to the effective date
52 of this subdivision may remain in use. Connector trails not exceeding
53 the mileage limits established by this subdivision may be extended.
54 d. The department may, in consultation with the office of parks,
55 recreation and historic preservation, authorize the public use of ATVs
56 on public highways on conservation easements held by the department
S. 2708 7
1 where such easements include the right to allow such use and such
2 authorization is in compliance with the requirements of subdivision one
3 of section twenty-four hundred five of the vehicle and traffic law and
4 other applicable law, and may, in consultation with the office of parks,
5 recreation and historic preservation, authorize the public use of ATVs
6 on ATV trails and private roads on conservation easements held by the
7 department where such easements include the right to allow such use and
8 such authorization is in compliance with the requirements of subdivision
9 two of section twenty-four hundred five of the vehicle and traffic law
10 and other applicable law.
11 e. On state lands under the jurisdiction of the department other than
12 those described in paragraphs a and b of this subdivision, the depart-
13 ment may, in consultation with the office of parks, recreation and
14 historic preservation, authorize the public use of ATVs in compliance
15 with the requirements of section twenty-four hundred five of the vehicle
16 and traffic law and other applicable law.
17 f. Persons with qualifying disabilities to whom the department has
18 issued a permit and a companion may use ATVs at the locations authorized
19 by such permit and pursuant to the terms and conditions of such permit.
20 Such authorization shall comply with the requirements of section twen-
21 ty-four hundred five of the vehicle and traffic law and other applicable
23 g. ATVs may be used on state land under the department's jurisdiction
24 for appropriate administrative, law enforcement, and emergency purposes.
25 h. The provisions of this subdivision shall only apply to lands within
26 the boundaries of the Adirondack park and the Catskill park or under the
27 jurisdiction of the department on or before January first, two thousand
29 § 13. This act shall take effect immediately.