FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 3, 2013
Contact: John Handy, Communications Director – (360) 786-5758
Shea bill to expand all-terrain vehicle access signed into law by the governor
Legislation that will expand all-terrain vehicle access and have a positive impact on the state’s economy was signed into law today by Gov. Jay Inslee. House Bill 1632, sponsored by Rep. Matt Shea, had broad bipartisan support in the Legislature and passed on the second to last day of the second special session.
“Unfortunately, our state had overly restrictive laws with respect to the use of off-road vehicles and all-terrain vehicles. This pushed people who are passionate about this sport to Oregon, Idaho and other states. This bill will bring many of these folks back to our state,” said Shea, R-Spokane Valley. “The solution we came up with is good for people who enjoy the sport, our economy and our environment.”
Several stakeholder groups played a role in the success of the bill. The group included all-terrain vehicle riders, an environmental coalition, ORV and ATV dealers, city and county governments, and state lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle.
“This was a team effort and a long process. It’s also an example of how good public policy can be formed when everyone comes together to work on a shared goal,” said Shea. “As a group, we were concerned about protecting both private property and public lands from abuse. This bill has important accountability mechanisms built in.”
The measure’s economic impact is estimated at $50 million. It’s expected to bring riders back to the state, provide disabled veterans more places to ride, expand uses for agriculture and timber industries, and create new jobs.
“Local jurisdictions will now be empowered to open up local roads and designate which ones could be used for all-terrain vehicles. This places power at the local level – where it belongs,” said Shea. “There is no doubt this will lead to new economic opportunities for several areas of our state.”
The bill addresses allowed usage of “wheeled all-terrain vehicles,” or WATVs, which include four wheelers and utility-type vehicles. It requires WATVs to display a metal tag on the rear of the vehicle that would be issued with an original off-road vehicle registration. Those who wish to use their WATVs for on-road use must register and would receive a brightly-colored on-road tab to display on their vehicles. The annual on-road registration fee is only $12.
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