2006 Code of Virginia § 46.2-915.1 - All-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles; penalty

46.2-915.1. All-terrain vehicles and off-road motorcycles; penalty.

A. No all-terrain vehicle shall be operated:

1. On any public highway, or other public property, except (i) as authorizedby proper authorities (ii) to the extent necessary to cross a public highwayby the most direct route, or (iii) by law-enforcement officers, firefighters,or rescue squad personnel responding to emergencies;

2. By any person under the age of 16, except that (i) children between theages of 12 and 16 may operate all-terrain vehicles powered by engines of nomore than 90 cubic centimeters displacement and (ii) children less than 12years old may operate all-terrain vehicles powered by engines of no more than70 cubic centimeters displacement;

3. By any person unless he is wearing a protective helmet of a type approvedby the Superintendent of State Police for use by motorcycle operators;

4. On another person's property without the written consent of the owner ofthe property or as explicitly authorized by law; or

5. With a passenger at any time, unless such all-terrain vehicle is designedand equipped to be operated with more than one rider.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, all-terrain vehicles may be operated on thehighways in Buchanan County if the following conditions are met:

1. Such operation is approved by action of the Buchanan County Board ofSupervisors for operation along the Pocahontas Trail on Bill Young Mountainand across Virginia Route 635 in Buchanan County;

2. Signs, whose design, number, and location are approved by the VirginiaDepartment of Transportation, have been posted warning motorists thatall-terrain vehicles may be operating on the highway;

3. Such all-terrain vehicles are operated during daylight hours on thehighway for no more than one mile between one off-road trail and another;

4. Signs required by this subsection are purchased and installed by theperson or club requesting the Board of Supervisors' approval for suchover-the-road operation of all-terrain vehicles;

5. All-terrain vehicles operators shall, when operating on the highway, obeyall rules of the road applicable to other motor vehicles;

6. Riders of such all-terrain vehicles shall wear approved helmets; and

7. Such all-terrain vehicles shall operate at speeds of no more than 25 milesper hour.

No provision of this subsection shall be construed to require all-terrainvehicles operated on a highway as provided in this subsection to comply withlighting requirements contained in this title.

C. Any retailer selling any all-terrain vehicle shall affix thereto, orverify that there is affixed thereto, a decal or sticker, approved by theSuperintendent of State Police, which clearly and completely states theprohibition contained in subsection A of this section.

D. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be consideredin mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or bethe subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damagesarising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of an all-terrainvehicle or off-road motorcycle, nor shall anything in this section change anyexisting law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any such civil action, norshall this section bar any claim which otherwise exists.

E. Violation of any provision of this section shall be punishable by a civilpenalty of not more than $500.

F. The provisions of this section shall not apply:

1. To any all-terrain vehicle being used in conjunction with farmingactivities; or

2. To members of the household or employees of the owner or lessee of privateproperty on which the all-terrain vehicle is operated.

G. For the purposes of this section, "all-terrain vehicle" shall have themeaning ascribed in 46.2-100.

(1989, c. 290, 46.1-172.04; 1995, c. 670; 2001, c. 147; 2003, c. 313; 2006,c. 896.)

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