Legislation Will Expand Recreational Opportunities by Legalizing UTVs
ALBANY - A bill by State Senator Patty Ritchie to help people register their recreational utility vehicles in New York State passed the Senate Transportation Committee on Tuesday, clearing the first legislative hurdle on the way to becoming law.
“At a time when ATV use is becoming one of upstate New York’s most popular off road motorized sports, I think it is critical that we work with our sportsmen’s organizations to expand outdoor recreation opportunities so that we can bring tourists to some of the rural areas of Oswego, Jefferson and St. Lawrence County that already offer extensive trail opportunities,” she said. “If we truly want to revitalize upstate’s economy, we need to harness the tourism industry to help get New York State moving again.”
“New York State has been losing hundreds of thousands of dollars in new revenue because of the outmoded definition of all terrain vehicles (ATVs) in the transportation law,” she said. “This legislation will allow New York State to collect new revenues in vehicle registrations and sales taxes.”
“For five years, sportsmen have been trying to pass this bill,” said Steve Cronk of Altmar, president of the 1,200 member Oswego County ATV Club. “I’m pleased to see Senator Ritchie has gotten it through the Senate Transportation Committee. It’s about time that someone is on our side. There are a lot of UTVs out there that need to be licensed and registered in New York State. The state has lost a lot of money by not collecting registration fees on these vehicles.”
“It’s the smartest thing the state has done in ages,” said Judy Wendt of Canton, president of the St. Lawrence County ATV Association. “Over half the machines sold last year were side by sides. I think you’ll find fewer complaints because the demographics for people who use these machines tend to be older couples who like to ride together. They are more of a family machine.”
“Thousands of owners of these vehicles are frustrated because they have been prevented from registering their vehicles,” Senator Ritchie said. “Many have been making an end run around New York State’s outmoded regulations by registering their vehicles in Pennsylvania where the state has kept up with the latest advances in technology.”
“I am very pleased that the Senate Transportation Committee has thrown its support behind my common sense bill to redefine all terrain vehicles (ATV) to include utility vehicles," she said. Ritchie’s bill (S.3318) redefines the ATV law to include vehicles up to 1,500 lbs. from the current 1,000 lb.