Bipartisan Bill Will Boost Tourism, Keep More UTV Riders in NYS

Legislation sponsored by State Senator Patty Ritchie that closes a legal loophole to allow people to use increasingly popular Utility Task Vehicles—commonly known as UTVs— has passed the State Senate. 

The bill, S.1946, increases the acceptable weight limits on ATVs from 1,000 to 1,500 pounds, allowing New Yorkers to register UTVs and generating more state revenue through registrations, as many riders are traveling outside of New York State to register these increasingly popular vehicles.

“From older sportsmen, to couples and families who want to enjoy the outdoors together, hundreds of people across New York State already own UTVs, but can’t legally operate them,” said Senator Ritchie.

“This legislation will help ensure that people are being responsible on the trails, keep more UTV riders in New York State, expand our tourism industry, create jobs and provide a boost to our region’s economy.”

This is the third time the Senate has passed the legislation, which has picked up support from across the state as well as on both sides of the aisle.

“This legislation is long overdue and will truly benefit those who already own UTVs, people who are thinking about purchasing UTVs, as well as New York State, which will see significant revenue increases as a result of this bill,” said Gary Stinson, an ATV event organizer and President of the Barnes Corners Snow-Pals snowmobile club.   

“I would like to thank Senator Ritchie as well as Senator Joseph Griffo who cosponsored the legislation for their leadership and recognition of the importance of modernizing this law.”

“Since Senator Ritchie was first elected, she has made this legislation a priority.  She recognizes New York’s current laws represent an antiquated approach to today’s vehicles.  This outdated perspective makes it impossible for riders to register the most innovative vehicles available, and deprives the state of much needed tax revenue that comes from the families that enjoy off-roading,” said ,” Kathy Van Kleeck Senior Vice President of the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association.

“Manufacturers are working every day to create the safest, most efficient products possible, and that  work produces cutting-edge machines that cannot be registered in New York. Senator Ritchie’s bill goes a long way to ensuring the thousands of New Yorkers who participate in off-road activities can register the best vehicle possible.”

The bill was sent to the Assembly, where it is sponsored by Assemblyman Magee.