SENATE BILL REPORT
As of January 27, 2006
Title: An act relating to off-road vehicle use.
Brief Description: Concerning off-road vehicles.
Sponsors: Senators Sheldon and Stevens.
Committee Activity: Water, Energy & Environment: 2/1/06.
SENATE COMMITTEE ON WATER, ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
Staff: Richard Rodger (786-7461)
Background: It is a traffic infraction for any person to operate any nonhighway vehicle without
an adequate, and operating, muffling device which effectively limits vehicle noise to no more than
105 decibels, measured at a distance of twenty inches.
The Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation (IAC) operates the Nonhighway and Off-Road Vehicle Activities Program (NOVA) that helps develop and manage recreation opportunities on roads open to the public, but not constructed with gasoline tax revenues. The program provides grants for planning, capital improvements, maintenance and operation, and off-road vehicle (ORV) education and enforcement. Program funds come from a portion of the motor vehicle gasoline tax, paid by users of ORVs and nonhighway roads, and from amounts paid for ORV use permits.
The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) manages over 3 million acres of public and state trust lands. DNR has witnessed a significant increase of ORV use in recent years. Many issues have arisen due to this increased use of ORVs on state lands.
Summary of Bill: The limit for muffler decibel levels on nonhighway vehicles is lowered to no
more than 96 decibels, as measured at a distance of twenty inches.
An appropriation is made to IAC NOVA program for ORV education and enforcement activities by state agencies and local governments.
DNR must convene a working group to address issues relating to access to public and private lands for recreational ORV use. The working group will include representatives of state agencies, county governments, the United States forest service, ORV recreational user groups, private land managers, the ORV industry, and local law enforcement. The working group shall provide its strategies and proposals to the Legislature by December 1, 2007.
Fiscal Note: Available.
Committee/Commission/Task Force Created: No.
Effective Date: Ninety days after adjournment of session in which bill is passed.