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I got an email from a friend about this new CA law that says any passenger in a UTV has to be in a seat that was installed by the manufacturer, has to wear a helmet, and has to be able to reach a handhold with both feet on the ground and their seatbelt properly installed. Seems reasonable, except my 4 year old daughter's feet don't reach the ground. Any thoughts? A lot of people with Rhinos and aftermarket seats are going to be pissed.

Linky

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I got an email from a friend about this new CA law that says any passenger in a UTV has to be in a seat that was installed by the manufacturer, has to wear a helmet, and has to be able to reach a handhold with both feet on the ground and their seatbelt properly installed. Seems reasonable, except my 4 year old daughter's feet don't reach the ground. Any thoughts? A lot of people with Rhinos and aftermarket seats are going to be pissed.

Linky

OK not to totally derail/hijack. But why the OEM seat, handrail, helmet, and feet on the floor provisions? None of these are required for any passenger vehicle that operates in the same areas and usually at much higher speeds.

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OK not to totally derail/hijack. But why the OEM seat, handrail, helmet, and feet on the floor provisions? None of these are required for any passenger vehicle that operates in the same areas and usually at much higher speeds.

Because they aren't enclosed like a regular passenger vehicle....and probably somebody got injured or killed, then there was a lawsuit etc..

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Because they aren't enclosed like a regular passenger vehicle....and probably somebody got injured or killed, then there was a lawsuit etc..

I will buy into the second part, but the first part, no way. To many trucks, buggies, jeeps, etc with nothing more than roll cage and fiberglass which is really nothing more than a UTV / SidexSide.

I was thinking about buying a higher end UTV and getting it plated, not anymore.

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This law resulted from all the dumb asses that installed an extra bench seat in the bed of the UTV. They did crappy jobs, raised the center of gravity of the machine, then sued the manufacturer when they crashed hurting their kids. Just like it is illegal to ride 2 up on any quad unless it is specifically designed to have to riders. It makes sense. Now for those street legal buggies that ride around with 5 point harnesses instead of factory seat belts, are illegal. Unless the seat belt is DOT it is not legal to use on the road.

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(e) Has an engine displacement equal to or less than 1,000cc (61 ci).

Step 1. Bigger cylinders, bore jobs, etc. It doesn't specify that it has to come from the manufacturer like other sections.

Step 2. Manufacturers will go to 1100 cc's, making 'em faster and presumably more unsafe (way to go, Governor).

38604. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall not ride with a passenger, unless the passenger, while seated upright with his or her back against the seatback with both feet flat on the floorboard, can grasp the occupant handhold with the seatbelt and shoulder belt or safety harness properly fastened.

Step 1. Install a raised floorboard.

Step 2. Modify the handhold for your usual occupants.

Yup -

LAWSUITS :torch::angry::ph34r::torch:

Yes, some people are unsafe and put their kids in bad spots, but punishing the population for the actions of idiots has been going on forever. Practically speaking, nobody should be able to have a passenger on a motorcycle since there's basically zero protection.

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Yeah, that was my first thought, too. It's the perfect excuse to make an 1100 engine in it, making it much less safe but legal. When my girls turn 6 they will most likely be riding their own bike or quad anyway, but you can't tell me that's safer than being strapped into the back seat of a RZR4 with a responsible adult driving. I hate idiots. The ones that get hurt doing stupid things and then sue everyone because of it, and the ones that feel the need to create a law to protect us from ourselves. The conspiracy theorist in me is wondering is the environmentalists are behind al of this to try and keep us out of the desert.

Trophy, what do you think about the enforceability of these laws? Will an LEO be able to discern what seats are factory or not? The bench in the back of my RZR4 looks factory, but has an extra place for a person to sit. What about aftermarket bucket seats replacing the stock ones, is that now not legal? What will the penalties be?

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Right behind you on that one. No grandfather clause, just outright change and enforcement. I think most of us could start naming folks who can't legally take their rigs out anymore.

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No grandfather clause, just outright change and enforcement.

I haven't looked at the actual code yet but keep in mind these are amendments and additions, so it's possible there was already a grandfather clause that might survive these changes. I can look later to be sure, unless someone else has already done my homework.

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Ok, so there's no grandfather clause that would exempt pre-existing vehicles. However, i read this section differently: 38604. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall not ride with a passenger, unless the passenger, while seated upright with his or her back against the seatback with both feet flat on the floorboard, can grasp the occupant handhold with the seatbelt and shoulder belt or safety harness properly fastened.

To me that doesn't mean you have to raise the floorboards, but that you might have to put a handle within closer reach. The wording (as per usual with statutes) is awkward, but the goal seems to be more about whether the handle is within reach while the passenger is seated properly than whether the passenger could reach the floorboards. Count on this being litigated, but at the same time I don't think i'd be too concerned.

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Probably the most significant note from the legislative history:

The bill further specifies that persons operating ROHVs must not allow passengers to sit in areas other than designated seats provided by the manufacturer and that passengers be prohibited from holding occupant handholds unless the passenger can do so with his or her seatbelt and safety harness fastened while seated upright with his or her back against the seat and both feet flat on the floor.

It doesn't say you can't ride shotgun if you can't reach the floorboards, it says you can't ride passenger AND hold onto the handles UNLESS you can reach the floorboards while seated properly.

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Time will tell what happens but I have a neighbor who has little kids that he puts in car seats just as he would in a passenger vehicle. Trying to be safe. Also, pint sized ones who's legs wont' reach the floor is why I suggested raising the floorboards and adjusting whatever handhold is available.

I agree with Bum. This seems aimed at those who would throw the CG off and drive like idiots, but if enforced, it just put my neighbor and his family out of the desert - or Pismo - where he has been this past week.

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Background

Law sponsored by These folks....

Who are sponsored by these manufacturers per their website....:

The not-for-profit Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association (ROHVA) is a source of information about the Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV) industry.ROHVA is dedicated to enhancing ROV safety awareness. ROHVA is sponsored by Arctic Cat, BRP, Kawasaki, Polaris, John Deere, and Yamaha.

SITE REGISTRY The Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF)

Makes sense now. Idiots, Lawsuits, Manufacturer money, new laws.

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http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1551-1600/ab_1595_bill_20120724_chaptered.pdf

New California UTV Legislation

AB 1595

(Sacramento CA. July 10, 2012) CORVA has learned in the past month or so of a new legislative proposal affecting UTV's like the Yamaha Rhino, Polaris Ranger, Arctic Cat Wildcat.

The proposed legislation, authored by Assembly Member Cook and sponsored/supported by Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle Association ("ROHVA") Kawasaki Motors Corporation.

The bill started out on February 06, 2012 as a proposal regarding sales taxes and related items.

The proposal was gutted and amended (very quietly)on March, 29th in an Assembly committee to much of what the bill now provides.

Since that time, the bill has had some minor amendments but has passed the Assembly 71 to 0 and the Senate 36 to 0. CORVA expects by the time you read this that the bill will be on the Governor's desk for his signature and then Chaptered into law. [update, the Gov signed the bill]

Of particular interest, the bill provides:

"This bill would define an off-highway motor vehicle to include a recreational off-highway vehicle, as defined. The bill would establish additional requirements governing the operation of a recreational off-highway vehicle."

In short, this bill will amend Section 500 of the Vehicle Code to define what a "Recreational off-highway vehicle" is. This section is more for a clear understanding especially for the Department of Motor Vehicles in the registration process.

More important for motorized recreationist, is the adding to the Chapter 8, commencing with Section 38600 to Division 16.5 of the Vehicle Code.

"38600. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall be at least 16 years of age, or be directly supervised in the vehicle by a parent or guardian or by an adult authorized by the parent or guardian.

38601. A person shall not operate, or allow a passenger in, a recreational off-highway vehicle unless the person and the passenger are wearing safety helmets meeting the requirements established for motorcycles and motorized bicycles pursuant to Section 27802.

38602. A person operating, and any passenger in, a recreational off-highway vehicle shall wear a seatbelt and shoulder belt or safety harness that is properly fastened when the vehicle is in motion.

38603. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall not allow a passenger to occupy a separate seat location not designed and provided by the manufacturer for a passenger.

38604. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall not ride with a passenger, unless the passenger, while seated upright with his or her back against the seatback with both feet flat on the floorboard, can grasp the occupant handhold with the seatbelt and shoulder belt or safety harness properly fastened."

CORVA is providing this information as a service to the motorized recreation community. CORVA has not taken a position on this legislative proposal.

--------------------

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They have been writing tickets for 2 years now out in Glamis to all the people that have SXSs or Side By Sides- Rhinos ect....Everybody with a welder and drill were rigging up roll cages and installing back seats in the beds. They were failing on rollovers.

Be careful what you buy on Craigslist...May not be legal.

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Have they been writing tickets addressing the extra seating issue? If so, based on what section if you know?

This is the only answer I have.

38603. A person operating a recreational off-highway vehicle shall not allow a passenger to occupy a separate seat location not designed and provided by the manufacturer for a passenger.

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Sorry - I was asking what they have been writing tickets for in the past. Unless I misread the section, the new stuff just went into effect.

An act to amend Section 38012 of, to add Section 500 to, and to add Chapter 8 (commencing with Section 38600) to Division 16.5 of, the Vehicle

Code, relating to vehicles.

[Approved by Governor July 24, 2012. Filed with Secretary of State July 24, 2012.]

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Got this email the other day, looks like somebody has realized the errors and is working on finding a good fix. A few phone calls or emails may help to speed things along.

Senator Joel Anderson

619-596-3136

Victoria Alvarez / TRANS. / (916) 319- 2093

Hi, my name is Tim Itnyre and I'm the Legislative Director for Assemblyman Paul Cook. I've spoken with several of you on the phone over the past couple of days about the significant problems in AB 1595. I've been following the discussions in the forum since yesterday and thought that I owed it to you to reach out directly to explain what happened with AB 1595 and to explain what Assemblyman Cook is doing to fix it.

First, here's the background on AB 1595. Last winter, our office was approached by ROHVA (the sponsor of the bill) with proposed language that would add a definition of "recreational off-highway vehicles" to state code and put in place a couple of basic safety regulations. The regulations as we understood them were basic stuff such as having restraints, having a parent or adult directly supervising in vehicle when you have children younger than 16 driving ROHVs, and some sort of helmet law. These regulations were supposed to be pretty minor and there was already some pressure from state agencies to act on this or there was the prospect of some sort of administrative action with no direct accountability to the voters. Running the bill would head off administrative action and give off roaders a lot more opportunity for input during the legislative process. Additionally, Assemblyman Cook knew that by agreeing to be the author of the bill, he would be able to control its contents. Specifically, as it went through hearings any portions of the bill that the off-road community raised objections to could be modified or eliminated. If necessary, the entire bill could be killed with a single phone call if he was the author.

Unfortunately, the legislative process broke down when the legislature heard nothing from the off-road community during the legislative process. The language that makes up AB 1595 was in print from March 29 until it became law on July 24, and during that time, there was not a single individual, group, club, or off-roading organization that raised any objections to the contents of the bill. Because of this, it went through hearings in 4 different committees and passed off the floor of both houses of the legislature without a single "No" vote. A single call, email, or fax at any point during that process would have caused us to halt the bill and fix or kill it entirely.

I'm not trying to pass the buck on this one, we clearly made a mistake by assuming that the silence of the off-roading community meant that there were no complaints or issues with the contents of this bill. I'm just trying to explain to you how it appeared from our perspective. As far as why AB 1595 started as a tax bill, that was because of a pretty common legislative process known as "gut and amend". Because there are limits on how many bills can be introduced adn when they can be introduced, bills that have stalled or failed are often "gutted and amended" into new bills during the process to deal with new issues that come up. AB 1595's sales tax reduction was dead on arrival in Assembly Tax and Revenue Committee, so we gutted and amended it on March 29 to run the Off-Highway Vehicle Safety bill.

That's all the past though and what we're focused on now is the future. There are several provisions of AB 1595 that have been brought to our attention that need an immediate fix. The following two sections have been the focus of about 90% of the calls and emails that we've recieved:

Section 38603: This is the section requiring that factory-installed seats be used. When we had read the bill and talked with the sponsors and state agencies, we had understood that this was supposed to prevent people from "mad max"-style seats strapped on to vehicles with bungee cords, etc that were inherently unsafe. Over the past couple days, the off road community has done an excellent job educating us about the huge market in after market seating, much of which is even safer than the original factory installed seating. This provision is clearly far too broad and would cripple the aftermarket industry in California while leaving countless California offroaders with vehicles that they can no longer legally use.

Section 38604: This section requires that passengers be able to grab the safety handhold while their feet are on the floor and they are fully strapped or harnessed in. When we talked with the sponsors about the bill, we heard that this was a safety requirement to ensure that the harness worked correctly. Unfortunately, we learned after the bill was signed into law and off-roaders began contacting our office that this will prevent children, indivduals with dwarfism, and possibly even amputees from being able to use ROHVs. This was never Assemblyman Cook's intent and is completely unacceptable to him.

The fix that we are running is simple. Both Section 38603 and Section 38604 will be eliminated entirely. Remember what I wrote earlier in the post about "Gut and amends"? That is the method that I'll be using to run the fix and get it passed in the four weeks remaining in legislative session. I've already begun speaking with committee officials from the relevant committes and they all appear very understanding of the problems with these provisions and open to doing what is necessary to move this bill through over the next four weeks. The fix should be in print on monday or tuesday of next week and as soon as it is, I'll post the bill number for the fix on this forum and let you all know what the first committee that it will be assigned to will be.

One other thing that I'd like to briefly touch on: the helmet provision. Unlike the two sections I listed above, there has been significant division in the position of callers vis a vis helmets. There appear to be three camps that I've heard from so far among off-roaders:

1) Those who more or less support the helmet provision as written.

2) Those who would support some sort of helmet law, but want some changes to it.

3) Those who are opposed to any sort of helmet law.

The debate over helmets and vehicles has been going on in California for at least the past 25 years. With the abbreviated four week timeframe, turning the fix bill into the latest chapter in the helmet battle would almost certainly guarantee that the bill is delayed, which will effectively kill it for the year. I'd rather get the two parts that I know we can fix immediately done. Once we get this fix, I would be glad to help you find an author willing to carry a bill fixing the helmet provisions of the law for next year (since Assemblyman Cook will be termed out of the Assembly this December).

Fixing AB 1595 has become Assemblyman Cook's top legislative priority for the remainder of his time in the Assembly and I will be glad to serve as a direct line of communication either here on the forum or via email (tim.itnyre@asm.ca.gov) or by calling our Capitol Office (916-319-2065) as we move forward.

Timothy Itnyre

Legislative Director

Office of Assemblyman Paul Cook

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Second Update on the AB 1595 Fix

I just wanted to give everyone an update and a timeline for the AB 1595 fix. We were able to secure a bill to use as a vehicle for fixing AB 1595 this week. The new bill will become eligible for amendments on

Tuesday, so the amended language should be in print and available for you to read online on Wednesday (August 22).

I'll send out an update to everyone with a bill number and a link to where you can read the language of the fix on Wednesday. My office has worked with the Transportation committees in the Senate and Assembly and I believe they will waive holding a hearing on the bill. This means that it will be voted on directly on the Senate floor, possibly as early as next Friday. Following that vote, it will move over to the Assembly where it will be voted on sometime during the final week of session (The week of August 27-31). From there it will move on to the Governor for signature.

I want to thank all of you again for your input so far and I'll keep you all in the loop as the fix moves forward.

Sincerely,

Assemblyman Paul Cook

65th Assembly District

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Thx to SDlineman for providing the contact for updates. They're good about emailing the progress.

Third Update on the AB 1595 Fix

I'm happy to report that the bill to begin fixing AB 1595 is now in print and available to be read online. The bill is AB 1266. I'm joined by Assemblyman Jim Nielsen and Assemblyman V. Manuel PĂ©rez in authoring this fix. You can view the text of AB 1266 at the following link:

leginfo.ca.gov/pub/11-12/bill/asm/ab_1251-1300/ab_1266_bill_20120823_amended_sen_v98.html

This bill will do two things:

1) It eliminates the "feet flat on the floorboards" provision that would prevent children (and short adults) from riding as a passenger in a recreational off-highway vehicle.

2) It delays the implementation of the non-factory seating locations provision until July 1, 2013. While I would have liked to do a more permanent fix for this provision right now, that would require committee hearings before the Assembly and Senate Transportation Committees, which are no longer meeting at this point in the session. Both of the committees are aware of the issues with this section of the current law, however, and legislation for a more permanent fix will be moving forward in January. The delay in implementing this section will give plenty of time for the new legislation to be drafted and passed by the next legislature.

I expect AB 1266 to be voted on in the California Senate on Monday, August 27, although there is a possibility that it may be pushed back until Tuesday. I will take the bill up in the Assembly within 1-2 days of it passing the Senate. After the Assembly passes it, it will be sent to the Governor for signature. Because the Senate will be the first chamber voting on this bill, I would urge you all to contact your state senator urging them to support AB 1266. I'll continue to update you at every step of the process, and once again, I'd like to thank you all for contacting my office with your comments and concerns.

Sincerely,

Assemblyman Paul Cook

65th Assembly District

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The helmet issue also needs addressing...(along the lines of the whole damn bill)

My father in law who is 65 has a rhino...he is more than responsible to not need a helmet...how is his rhino any different from a jeep or a zuk samurai?

They are going to out law these like they did with the 3-wheel...

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Email 'em with your concerns, Aaron. Mr Cooks office was very responsive and wants input. The quick fix was just that pending longer legislative sessions. Get involved or just deal with the outcome.

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Nicely done. I'll send 'em follow up stuff re the helmets, too. I think they were going after that later so a lot of contact now would help to drive the point home. I could see "16 and under" just to soften the position enough to get buyoff from those wanting it for all ages.

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