§13157-A. Operation Of Atvs

Link to law: http://legislature.maine.gov/legis/statutes/12/title12sec13157-A.html
Published: 2015

§13157-A. Operation of ATVs








1. No permission given. 




[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §20 (RP)
.]








1-A. Permission required. 
A person may not operate an ATV on the land of another without the permission of
the landowner or lessee. Permission is presumed on designated state-approved ATV trails or in areas open to ATVs by landowner policy. A landowner may limit the use of a designated state-approved ATV trail on that landowner's
property through agreements with the State or an ATV club to address environmental,
public safety or management concerns. Written permission of the landowner or lessee is required on cropland or pastureland
or in an orchard. As used in this subsection, "cropland" means acreage in tillage
rotation, land being cropped and land in bush fruits and "pastureland" means acreage
devoted to the production of forage plants used for animal production. Nothing in this subsection may be construed to limit or expand a landowner's property
rights.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 or more than $500 may be adjudged. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §21 (NEW).]










B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated of having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §21 (NEW).]







[
2007, c. 509, §1 (AMD)
.]








2. Stop and identify requirement. 
Persons operating ATVs upon the land of another shall stop and identify themselves
upon the request of the landowner or the landowner's duly authorized representative.
A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.


[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








3. Operating ATV upon controlled access highway. 
The following provisions govern the operation of ATVs on controlled access highways.





A. A person may not operate an ATV upon a controlled access highway or within the right-of-way
limits of a controlled access highway, except that:



(1) A properly registered ATV may cross controlled access highways by use of bridges
over or roads under those highways or by use of roads crossing controlled access highways
at grade; and






(2) The Commissioner of Transportation may issue special permits for designated
crossings of controlled access highways. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]














B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








4. Unlawfully operating ATV on snowmobile trail. 
Operating an ATV on a snowmobile trail financed in whole or in part with funds from
the Snowmobile Trail Fund is governed by section 13107.


[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








5. Unlawfully operating ATV on private road. 





[
2015, c. 301, §48 (RP)
.]








5-A. Operating a truck, pickup truck or passenger vehicle on an ATV trail. 
A person may not operate a truck, pickup truck or passenger vehicle on a designated
ATV trail that is not on a gravel road system unless that use has been authorized
by the landowner or the landowner's agent or it is necessitated by an emergency involving
the safety of a person or property. For purposes of this subsection, "pickup truck"
and "truck" have the same meanings as in Title 29-A, section 101, subsections 55 and
88, respectively, and "passenger vehicle" means a self-propelled 4-wheel motor vehicle
designed primarily to carry passengers on public roads.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine of
not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2007, c. 202, §1 (NEW).]










B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2007, c. 202, §1 (NEW).]







[
2007, c. 202, §1 (NEW)
.]








6. Operating ATV on public way. 
Except as provided in this subsection, a person may not operate an ATV, other than
an ATV registered with the Secretary of State under Title 29-A, on any portion of
a public way maintained or used for the operation of conventional motor vehicles or
on the sidewalks of any public way.





A. A properly registered ATV may be operated on a public way only the distance necessary,
but in no case to exceed 500 yards, on the extreme right of the traveled way for the
purpose of crossing, as directly as possible, a public way, bridge, overpass, underpass,
sidewalk or culvert as long as that operation can be made safely and does not interfere
with traffic approaching from either direction on the public way. [2005, c. 626, §3 (AMD).]










B.
[2005, c. 626, §4 (RP).]










C. An ATV may be operated on any portion of a public way when the public way has been
closed in accordance with Title 23, section 2953. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











D. An ATV may be operated on a public way that is not maintained or used for the operation
of conventional motor vehicles, except that operation on the left side of the way
is prohibited during the hours from sunset to sunrise. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











E. An ATV may be operated on streets and public ways during a period of emergency when
the emergency has been so declared by a police agency having jurisdiction and when
travel by conventional motor vehicles is not practicable. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











F. An ATV may be operated on streets and public ways in special events of limited duration
conducted according to a prearranged schedule under a permit from the governmental
unit having jurisdiction. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











G. An ATV may be operated on a public way on the extreme right of the traveled way
by a law enforcement officer for the sole purpose of traveling between the place where
the ATV is usually stored and an area to be patrolled by the law enforcement officer. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











H. Notwithstanding paragraphs A to G, an ATV may be operated on the extreme right of
a public way or as directed by the appropriate governmental unit within the public way of a municipality or an unorganized or unincorporated township if the appropriate
governmental unit has designated the public way as an ATV-access route. An ATV must travel in the same direction as motor vehicle traffic on a public way
designated as an ATV-access route. A public way designated by an appropriate governmental unit as an ATV-access route
must be posted conspicuously at regular intervals by that governmental unit with highly
visible signs designating the ATV-access route. Before designating a public way as
an ATV-access route, the appropriate governmental unit shall make appropriate determinations
that ATV travel on the extreme right of the public way or as directed by the appropriate governmental unit within the public way may be conducted safely and will not interfere with vehicular traffic on the public
way. For purposes of this paragraph, "appropriate governmental unit" means the Department
of Transportation, county commissioners or municipal officers within their respective
jurisdictions. The jurisdiction of each appropriate governmental unit over public
ways pursuant to this paragraph is the same as its jurisdiction over the passage of
vehicles on public ways pursuant to Title 29-A, section 2395. Municipal or county
law enforcement officials having jurisdiction have primary enforcement authority over
any route established under this paragraph. [2007, c. 33, §1 (AMD).]










I. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2007, c. 33, §1 (AMD)
.]








7. Failing to stop ATV before entering public way. 
A person shall bring an ATV to a complete stop before entering a public way.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]








[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








8. Failing to yield right-of-way while operating ATV. 
A person shall yield the right-of-way to all other types of vehicular traffic while
operating an ATV on a public way.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]








[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








9. Crossing closed bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass with ATV. 
A person may not cross with an ATV a bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass closed
to ATVs by the Commissioner of Transportation pursuant to this subsection. The Commissioner
of Transportation may, following a public hearing, prohibit the crossing by an ATV
of an individual bridge, culvert, overpass or underpass if the commissioner determines
that that crossing or use of a public way is hazardous. Any bridge, culvert, overpass
or underpass closed by the commissioner must be posted by appropriate notices.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]








[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








10. Reckless operating on ATV. 
A person may not operate an ATV in such a way as to recklessly create a substantial
risk of serious bodily injury to another person.


A person who violates this subsection commits a Class D crime.

[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








11. Operating ATV to endanger. 
A person may not operate an ATV so as to endanger any person or property.


A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.

[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








12. Operating ATV at greater than reasonable and prudent speed. 
A person may not operate an ATV except at a reasonable and prudent speed for the
existing conditions.


A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.

[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








13. Operating ATV without protective headgear. 
Notwithstanding Title 29-A, section 2083, a person under 18 years of age may not
operate an ATV without protective headgear.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]








[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








14. Carrying passenger on ATV without headgear. 
Notwithstanding Title 29-A, section 2083, a person may not carry a passenger under
18 years of age on an ATV unless the passenger is wearing protective headgear.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]








[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








15. ATV noise and fire control devices. 





[
2015, c. 301, §49 (RP)
.]








16. ATV headlight and taillight requirements. 
This subsection establishes light equipment requirements for the operation of an
ATV.





A. Except as provided in this subsection and section 13159, a person may not operate
an ATV in the State, regardless of where purchased, unless equipped with front and
rear lights as follows.



(1) The ATV must have mounted on the front at least one headlight capable of casting
a white beam for a distance of at least 100 feet directly ahead of the ATV.






(2) The ATV must have mounted on the rear at least one taillight capable of displaying
a light that must be visible at a distance of at least 100 feet behind the ATV. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]














B. The following are exceptions to the requirements of paragraph A.



(1) An ATV manufactured prior to January 1, 1991 without a headlight or taillight
is exempt from the provisions of this subsection while being operated between sunrise
and sunset.






(2) A person may operate an ATV without a headlight and taillight between sunrise
and sunset if:




(a) The ATV has an engine size of 90 cubic centimeters or less; and






(b) The ATV has 4 or more wheels. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]

















C. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








17. Required use of ATV lights. 
Except as provided in section 13159, the following provisions govern the use of
ATV lights.





A. A person shall use the lights required under subsection 16 as follows:



(1) During the period from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise; and





(2) At any time when, due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions
caused by fog or otherwise, other persons, vehicles and other objects are not clearly
discernible for a distance of 500 feet ahead. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]














B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








18. Unlawfully operating ATV on railroad tracks. 
This subsection governs operation of an ATV on railroad tracks.





A. A person may not:



(1) Operate an ATV along or adjacent and parallel to the tracks of a railroad within
the limits of the railroad right-of-way without written permission from the railroad
owning the right-of-way; or






(2) Operate an ATV across the tracks of a railroad after having been forbidden to
do so by the railroad owning the railroad right-of-way or by an agent of that railroad,
either personally or by appropriate notices posted conspicuously along the railroad
right-of-way. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]














B. Notwithstanding paragraph A, a person may operate within the right-of-way of a portion
of railroad line that has been officially abandoned under the authority of the Interstate
Commerce Commission. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











C. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








19. Operating too close to certain buildings. 
A person may not operate an ATV within 200 feet of a dwelling, hospital, nursing
home, convalescent home or church.





A. This subsection does not apply when a person is operating an ATV on:



(1) Public ways in accordance with subsections 3, 6, 7, 8 and 9;





(2) The frozen surface of any body of water; or





(3) Land that the operator owns or is permitted to use. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]














B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











[
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW);
2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF)
.]








20. Failure to report accident. 




[
2005, c. 436, §7 (RP)
.]








21. Operating ATV in prohibited area. 




[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §22 (RP)
.]








22. Abuse of another person's property. 
A person may not while operating an ATV:





A. Tear down or destroy a fence or wall on another person's land; [2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §414 (NEW); 2003, c. 655, Pt. B, §422 (AFF).]











B. Leave open a gate or bars on another person's land; [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §23 (AMD).]










C. Trample or destroy crops on another person's land; or [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §23 (AMD).]










D. Remove or destroy signs or posted notices. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §24 (NEW).]







A person who violates this subsection commits a Class E crime.

[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §§23, 24 (AMD)
.]








23. Operating ATV on cropland or pastureland. 




[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §25 (RP)
.]








24. Operation of ATV on temporarily closed trail. 
A person may not operate an ATV on any section of a trail posted with a notice of
temporary closure in accordance with this subsection. The notice must specify the
section of trail that is closed and the period of the closure and must be conspicuously
posted at each end of the closed section of the trail.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 or more than $500 may be adjudged. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]










B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated of having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]







[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW)
.]








25. ATV noise and fire control devices. 
The following provisions pertain to ATV muffling and fire control devices and noise
level limits.





A. Except as provided in section 13159, a person may not:



(1) Operate an ATV that is not equipped at all times with an effective and suitable
muffling device on its engine to effectively deaden or muffle the noise of the exhaust;




(2) Operate or modify an ATV with an exhaust system that has been modified in any manner that will increase
the noise emitted above the following emission standard:



(a) Each ATV must meet noise emission standards of the United States Environmental
Protection Agency and in no case exceed 96 decibels of sound pressure when measured
from a distance of 20 inches using test procedures established by the commissioner;
or






(3) Operate an ATV without a working spark arrester. [2015, c. 301, §50 (AMD).]











B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 or more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime.






(3) In addition to any penalties imposed under this subsection, the court may, subject
to section 9321 and Title 17-A, chapter 54, order restitution for fire suppression
costs incurred by state or municipal government entities in suppressing a fire caused
by an ATV operating without a working spark arrester. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]










[
2015, c. 301, §50 (AMD)
.]








26. Prohibited equipment. 
A person may not operate an ATV that is equipped with a snorkel kit or other equipment
designed to allow the ATV to be used in deep water except with the permission of the
owner of the land on which the ATV is operated or as provided in section 13159.





A. A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a fine
of not less than $100 or more than $500 may be adjudged. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]










B. A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated of having committed
3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period commits
a Class E crime. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]







[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW)
.]








27. Operation of ATV in prohibited area. 
The following provisions establish areas where the operation of an ATV is prohibited.





A. A person may not operate an ATV:



(1) On a salt marsh, intertidal zone, marine sand beach or sand dune or any cemetery,
burial place or burying ground; or






(2) When the ground is not frozen and sufficiently covered with snow to prevent
direct damage to the vegetation:




(a) On alpine tundra;






(b) On a freshwater marsh or bog, river, brook, stream, great pond, nonforested
wetland or vernal pool; or







(c) In a source water protection area as defined in Title 30-A, section 2001, subsection
20-A.






The provisions of this subparagraph do not apply to a trail designated for ATV use
by the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. The provisions of this
subparagraph also do not apply to a person accessing land for maintenance or inspection
purposes with the landowner's permission or to local, state or federal government
personnel in the performance of official duties, provided there is no significant
ground disturbance or sedimentation of water bodies. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW); 2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).]














B. The following penalties apply to violations of this subsection.



(1) A person who violates this subsection commits a civil violation for which a
fine of not less than $100 or more than $500 may be adjudged.






(2) A person who violates this subsection after having been adjudicated as having
committed 3 or more civil violations under this Part within the previous 5-year period
commits a Class E crime. [2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW).]










[
2005, c. 397, Pt. E, §26 (NEW);
2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV)
.]





SECTION HISTORY

2003, c. 655, §B414 (NEW).
2003, c. 655, §B422 (AFF).
2005, c. 397, §§E20-26 (AMD).
2005, c. 436, §7 (AMD).
2005, c. 626, §§3,4 (AMD).
2007, c. 33, §1 (AMD).
2007, c. 202, §1 (AMD).
2007, c. 509, §1 (AMD).
2009, c. 340, §24 (AMD).
2011, c. 657, Pt. W, §5 (REV).
2015, c. 301, §§48-50 (AMD).
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