ATVs, or all-terrain vehicles, are a fun way to explore the outdoor arena in California. ATVs are a class of off-highway vehicle (OHV) that riders can operate in designated areas. California enforces strict regulations surrounding ATV operation that are meant to keep riders safe.
ATVs possess several key characteristics that separate them from other off-roading vehicles. According to Vehicle Code 111, ATV’s possess:
The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) denotes the air safety of off-roading vehicles using green and red stickers. Both stickers act as a form of registration, making them necessary for all ATVs.
Green stickers allow riders to operate their vehicles on public land that the state designates for off-highway vehicle recreation. Green-stickered vehicles meet the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) air emission standards. This means the OHV owner can operate their vehicle at any time during the year. Green stickers cost $52 and drivers must renew them every two years.
Red stickers restrict ATV riders from operating their vehicle in non-designated riding seasons. Red stickers apply to OHVs made in 2003 and on that do not meet CARB’s air emission standards. Riders cannot modify their red stickered ATVs because the state enforces this regulation at the manufacturer level. This means that all OHVs with a vehicle identification number (VIN) that denotes red sticker-status will remain within this designation, even if the rider modifies it. Purchasing a vehicle from a DMV-approved company prevents consumers from buying red sticker OHVs.
Riders must affix their stickers to the rear quadrant of their ATV on its permanent metal or plastic frame.
California enforces laws for OHVs in general and ATVs as a subcategory. Important ATV-related laws to abide by include the following:
ATV riders must also abide by OHV general traffic requirements.
Riding an ATV can be an exhilarating experience, but riders must remember that ATVs are still a regulated form of vehicle. California poses numerous important guidelines that keep ATV riders safe; abide by these rules to legally enjoy your ATV and prevent an ATV accident.
If you were injured on an ATV either due to a defective part or another’s negligence, you may be able to recover compensation. Speak with our accident lawyers in Sacramento to learn about your legal options.
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