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Oregon Imposes New ATV Rules

Jan 6, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

Effective January 1, new all-terrain vehicle (ATV) rules are in place in the State of Oregon. Under Oregon's new rules, all people under the age of 16 who operate an ATV on public land must have adult supervision.  According to the Mail Tribune, the adult—and the youth—must also have successfully completed a state-approved safety-training course and the youth is required to meet rider-fit guidelines for the vehicle.

The paper also provided the following information on the minimum-physical-size requirements for Class I—Quad Rider—Operators who are under 16 years of age regarding brake and grip reach, leg length, handle bars, and disabled riders:

  • Brake Reach:  Involves hand location and finger position in relation to the brake lever and clutch.
  • Leg Length:  Involves leg angle when sitting on the ATV.
  • Grip Reach:  Involves arm and forearm angle when sitting on the ATV.
  • Handle Bars:  Involves the rider’s ability to turn the handle bars from lock to lock while maintaining both a grip on the bars and throttle and brake control.
  • Disabled Riders: Involves the rider’s ability to use prosthetics or modified/adaptive equipment assuming appropriate rider fit is met.


John Lane, the ATV safety education coordinator for the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation said the rules came about following an increase in ATV injuries to younger riders, according to the Mail Tribune, which noted that the Oregon Trauma Registry recorded over 1,200 such injuries in a recent five-year period, rising nearly 80 percent and injuring—in 20 percent of the cases—children under the age of 15.

Based on 2007 legislation a minimum age requirement will be phased in and will increase annually until all riders will be required to carry an ATV Safety Education Card while riding on state land, said the Mail Tribune, which added that the requirement will be in full effect in 2014.  Safety training is exempt for ATV and off-road motorcycles when used for farming, agriculture, forestry, nursery, Christmas tree growing operations, and when riding on private land.

Late last year, TradingMarkets.com reported on ATV standards set forth in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA).  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), “new ATVs must comply with the standard and must also have an ‘ATV Action Plan’” that contains “safety requirements on issues such as training” and indicates specific ATV equipment and configuration requirements said TradingMarkets.com, that include:  “Owner's/operator's manuals, labels and hang tags, maximum speed capability, speed capability of youth ATVs, service and parking brakes, pitch stability, electromagnetic compatibility, and sound level limits.”  Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) explained that ATV manufacturers and distributors’ written action plans must list not only those actions being implemented to “promote ATV safety,” the plans must include details on “rider training, age recommendations, and monitoring of sales.”  OHS noted that each subject in the plan must be certified and bear a label of certification.


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