Maine Revised Statutes

§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 person on 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;
(2) The Commissioner of Transportation may issue special permits for designated crossings of controlled access highways; and
(3) A person on a properly registered ATV may operate the ATV within the right-of-way limits of a controlled access highway on a trail segment approved by the Commissioner of Transportation or the board of directors of the Maine Turnpike Authority, as applicable.
At the request of the Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, the Commissioner of Transportation or the board of directors of the Maine Turnpike Authority, as applicable, may permit construction of an ATV trail within the right-of-way limits of a controlled access highway under the jurisdiction of the Department of Transportation or the Maine Turnpike Authority being constructed on or after January 1, 2016 when there is an ability to provide for the continuity of a state-owned or state-controlled network of ATV trails. Funds for the construction of an ATV trail under this paragraph may not be provided from the Highway Fund. [2015, c. 413, §2 (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 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).]
[ 2015, c. 413, §2 (AMD) .]
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.
(2) A person may operate an ATV including a 2-wheel off-road motorcycle without a headlight and taillight between sunrise and sunset.
[2017, c. 164, §27 (AMD).]
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).]
[ 2017, c. 164, §27 (AMD) .]
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). 2015, c. 413, §2 (AMD). 2017, c. 164, §27 (AMD).