H. B. 4022
(By Delegate Compton)
[Introduced January 13, 2000; referred to the
Committee on Roads and Transportation then the
A BILL to amend chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia,
one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding
thereto a new article, designated article twenty-four,
relating to the use of all-terrain vehicles; prohibiting the
operation of all-terrain vehicles on public streets and
highways except in relief efforts in declared emergency;
setting engine size limits for all-terrain vehicles operated
by children; prohibiting certain acts by the operator,
seller and rental agent; requiring certain equipment and
driver training; requiring notification of accidents;
providing criminal penalties; and allowing pursuit of
violator on private lands by police officer.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That chapter seventeen-c of the code of West Virginia, one
thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by
adding thereto a new article, designated article twenty-four, to
read as follows:
ARTICLE 24. ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES.
§17C-24-1. Operating all-terrain vehicles on public highways
No person may operate an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), as
defined in section one, article one, chapter seventeen-a of
this code, or other such motorized vehicle intended only for
off-the-road recreational use, on a publicly maintained street or
highway, except in a federally- or state- declared state of
emergency when it is necessary to operate an all-terrain vehicle
or other such vehicle on a publicly maintained street or highway
in furtherance of emergency relief efforts.
§17C-24-2. Size of engine, equipment and training regulated;
prohibited acts by operator.
(a) Children under the age of twelve may not operate
all-terrain vehicles having engines powered by more than
sixty-nine cubic centimeters displacement. Children between the
ages of twelve and sixteen may not operate all-terrain vehicles powered by engines of less than seventy nor more than ninety
cubic centimeters displacement.
(b) No person may operate an all-terrain vehicle:
(1) Unless he or she is wearing a protective helmet of a
type approved by the superintendent of the West Virginia state
(2) While carrying a passenger except that a driver may
carry an ill or injured passenger where the health or safety of
the passenger is otherwise threatened and use of the all-terrain
vehicle is required to carry the passenger away from danger or to
obtain required medical care;
(3) While under the influence of alcohol or any controlled
substance, or under the influence of a prescription or
nonprescription drug which impairs vision or motor coordination;
(4) On another person's property without the written consent
of the owner of the property or as explicitly authorized by law;
(5) In a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger or
cause injury or damage to any person or property.
(6) Unless the operator has completed a rider safety course
approved by the superintendent of the state police.
(c) The provisions of this section do not apply:
(1) To any all-terrain vehicle being used in conjunction
with farming activities; or
(2) To members of the household or employees of the owner or
lessee of private property on which the all-terrain vehicle is
§17C-24-3. Prohibited acts by seller.
(a) No person may knowingly sell or offer to sell an
all-terrain vehicle with an engine capacity of seventy cubic
centimeters of displacement or greater for use by a person under
twelve years of age.
(b) No person may knowingly sell or offer to sell an
all-terrain vehicle with an engine capacity of greater than
ninety cubic centimeters for use by a person under sixteen years
§17C-24-4. Prohibited acts by rental agent.
No person who is engaged in the rental or leasing of
all-terrain vehicles to the public may knowingly rent or lease an
all-terrain vehicle with an engine size of more than ninety cubic
centimeters of displacement to be operated by a person less than
sixteen years of age, or with an engine size of seventy or more
cubic centimeters of displacement to be operated by a person less
than twelve years of age.
§17C-24-5. Required equipment.
(a) The following requirements apply when an all-terrain
vehicle is operated in this state:
(1) Every all-terrain vehicle operated during hours of
darkness shall display a lighted headlamp and tail lamp. These
lights must be in operation during the period of from one-half
hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and at any time
when visibility is reduced due to insufficient light or
unfavorable atmospheric conditions, unless use of lights is
prohibited by other applicable state laws such as prohibition on
use of lamps when hunting at night.
(2) Every all-terrain vehicle must be equipped with a brake
system maintained in good operating condition.
(3) Every all-terrain vehicle must be equipped with an
effective muffler system in good working condition.
(4) Every all-terrain vehicle must be equipped with an
effective spark arrester in good working condition.
(b) All-terrain vehicles participating in competitive events
open to the public may be exempted from all or any parts of this
section at the discretion of the director of the division of
§17C-24-6. Notice of accident.
(a) The operator of an all-terrain vehicle involved in an
accident resulting in injuries resulting in hospitalization or
death, or some person acting for the operator, or the owner of
the all-terrain vehicle having knowledge of the accident shall
immediately notify a law-enforcement officer.
(b) Any law-enforcement agency receiving a report of an
accident under this section shall forward the report to the
office of epidemiology and health promotion of the bureau of
§17C-24-7. Penalties; pursuit on private land by law-enforcement
(a) Any person violating the provisions of this article is
guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be
fined not more than one hundred dollars or confined in the county
or regional jail not more than ten days; for a second conviction
thereafter the person shall be fined not more than two hundred
dollars or confined not more than twenty days or both fined and
imprisoned; upon a third or subsequent conviction a person shall
be fined not more than five hundred dollars or confined not more
than six months, or both fined and imprisoned.
(b) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a municipal, county or state police officer may enter upon private
lands while in pursuit of the operator of an all-terrain vehicle
or other such vehicle while the operator is violating the
provisions of this article.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to regulate the operation
of all-terrain vehicles. The bill clarifies that ATVs and other
recreational vehicles designed for off-road use are prohibited
from operation on publically maintained streets and highways, and
requires written consent of the owner before operation of an ATV
on private property.
The bill sets engine size limits for ATVs being operated by
children or sold or rented for use by children, lists equipment
required on ATVs, requires operator training, requires the
reporting of certain accidents to law-enforcement officers and
provides for reporting of accidents to the Bureau of Public
The bill provides for misdemeanor penalties and permits
law-enforcement officers to enter on private property to pursue
an ATV operator violating any provision of the article at that
This article is new; therefore, strike-throughs and
underscoring have been omitted.