New Mexico Passes Bill Allowing ATVs On Paved Public roads

February 2016 Powersport News

By New Mexico Senate Republicans

SB 270a allows all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and off-highway vehicles (OHVs) to drive on paved roads up to 55mph unless prohibited by local authorities.

This has a local option where local entities could opt in. Many mountain states have similar laws. It passed the Senate and the House passed it with the opt-in amendment. The amended bill will return to the Senate for concurrence.

Currently, ATVs are allowed to only cross a public paved road, not to travel on one. Otherwise drivers could be cited by authorities.

“This is intended for farmers who might be on an ATV and need to travel on a paved road to get to their fields down the road without being cited,” bill sponsor Senator Neville said. “We don’t want to penalize people carrying out their daily jobs and duties. We want to make sure people have some freedom to get their jobs done.”

“It would allow us to go from the field to the paved road and could be very useful to our farmers and ranchers in the rural areas,” said Senator Cliff Pirtle. “It has good common sense.”

The permission would also pertain to recreational use of the off-highway vehicles.

Senator Ron Griggs said hunters driving from one track to another in his areas would appreciate the change as well. SB 270a states that a local authority may establish separate speed limits and operating restrictions for OHVs.

The vehicle must have one or more headlights and taillights, brakes, mirrors and mufflers. The operator must have a valid driver's license, instruction permit or provisional license, insurance and an off-highway safety permit allowing minors to drive with goggles and a helmet. Local authorities can establish separate speed limits and operating restrictions for OHVs.

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