With the new year comes new restrictions for Recreational Off-Highway Vehicle (ROV): also known as UTV or side X side.
Effective January 01, 2013, per California Legislation AB1595
California Vehicle Code (CVC):*
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.
SECTION 1. Section 500 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
500. “Recreational off-highway vehicle” means a motor vehicle meeting all of the following criteria:
(a) Designed by the manufacturer for operation primarily off of the highway.
(b) Has a steering wheel for steering control.
(c) Has nonstraddle seating provided by the manufacturer for the operator and all passengers.
(d) (1) Has a maximum speed capability of greater than 30 miles per hour.
***** (2) A vehicle designed by the manufacturer with a maximum speed capability of 30 miles per hour or*less but is* modified so that it has a maximum speed capability of greater than 30 miles per hour*satisfies the criteria set forth in this subdivision.
(e) Has an engine displacement equal to or less than 1,000cc (61 ci).
New changes to for children under 8 in UTVs.
Although this law was placed in effect January, 1,2012passed a law requiring children under 8 to be in a carseat. Some people traveling to the Imperial Sand Dunes might now be aware of this new law.
43 CFR 8365.1(b) (1) The operator of a motor vehicle is prohibited from operating a motor vehicle in motion, unless the operator and each front seat passenger is restrained by a properly fastened safety belt that conforms to applicable United States Department of Transportation standards, except that children, as defined by State law, shall be restrained as provided by State law.
(V.C. 27360) All children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a safety seat or booster in the back seat. Exceptions: A child who weighs more than 40 pounds and is riding in a car without lap and shoulder belts in the back seat may wear just a lap belt. A child under age 8 who is at least 4’9″ may wear a safety belt if it fits properly. Children under age 8 may ride in the front if there is no forward-facing rear seat in the vehicle, the child restraint cannot be properly installed in rear seat, all rear seats are occupied by other children age 7 or under, or for medical reasons. A child in a rear-facing safety seat may not ride in front if there is an active passenger air bag.
(V.C. 27360.5) Children age 8 or over may use the vehicle safety belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest. If children are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster or safety seat.
Consequences for failing to properly buckle up any child under 16
- Older babies and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing convertible seat until they are at least two years old. Check manufacturer’s instructions for the maximum weight (30-45 lbs.).
- Children should ride in a safety seat with a harness as long as possible (40-90 lbs., depending on the model).
- Children who have outgrown their safety seats need a booster for proper belt fit (usually until age 10-12). To find
out if a child is tall enough to wear just a safety belt, try the 5-Step Test, available from SafetyBeltSafe U.S.A.
- Auto insurers are required to replace safety seats that were in use or damaged during a crash.
(V.C. 27315) Drivers and passengers 16 or older must be properly buckled up in vehicle safety belts.
The driver may be ticketed for not wearing a belt and for each unbuckled passenger. Fine is more than $140* per person. Passengers also may be ticketed for not being properly buckled up.
(V.C. 23116) Pickup truck passengers also must be properly buckled up.
The driver may be ticketed for letting passengers ride in the back of a pickup truck.
Passengers also may be ticketed for not being properly buckled up.
The cost of a ticket could be more than $200* for each unbuckled adult. No exemption for camper shells.
Other Laws to Protect Children
- Children left in vehicle (V.C. 15620): A child 6 years old or less may not be left alone in a vehicle if the health or safety of the child is at risk, the engine is running, or the keys are in the ignition. The child must be supervised by someone at least age 12. The cost of a ticket could be more than $475.*
- Smoking in a vehicle [Health and Safety Code 118948(a)] is prohibited if a child under 18 is present. The cost of a ticket could be more than $475.*
- Helmets (V.C. 21212, 21204, 27803): Children under age 18 who are skating or riding on a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard must wear a properly fitted and fastened helmet. All drivers and passengers on a motorcycle must wear a helmet that meets federal standards, fits correctly, and has the proper label.
- * Fine amounts shown include penalty assessments