Texas Enacts Off-Highway Vehicle Trails Program Law - News - Dirt Rider Magazine

Legal News: Texas Takes a Step in the Right DirectionTexas Governor Rick Perry has signed into law a bill creating an off-highway vehicle program in the state. This legislation establishes an OHV trail and recreational area program, administered by the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife. The program will be funded through a decal fee paid by OHV riders and fines assessed against OHV operators for violation of OHV laws.

The Motorcycle Industry Council, working in cooperation with riders in Texas and the Texas Motorcycle Dealers Association, took the lead in developing and advocating the legislation and coordinating stakeholder support. The new law, which was signed by the Governor on June 17, 2005 and will take effect Sept. 1, 2005, will provide badly needed off-highway motorcycle and all-terrain vehicle riding opportunities in the state.Under the law, funding will be provided for the OHV trail and recreational area program to acquire, construct, develop, and maintain OHV trails and other riding areas. Kathy Van Kleeck, MIC's vice president, government relations, commends the Legislature for recognizing the need to provide OHV recreational opportunities in the state and especially applauds Sen. Juan Hinojosa of McAllen for his tireless support and efforts to move the legislation through the process.Texas was second in the nation in the combined sale of ATVs and off-highway motorcycles in 2004 and ranks second in combined ATV and off-highway motorcycle population as well. Establishing trails and riding areas where these products can be used legitimately and in an environmentally responsible manner is a high priority, and the new law will serve to benefit not only the many thousands of OHV riders in Texas but the broader population as well.MIC President Tim Buche cites enactment of this law as an excellent example of MIC working together with rider groups and dealers to protect and enhance the future of OHV recreation. MIC will continue to work with stakeholders in Texas to ensure that the law is implemented in an expeditious and beneficial manner.