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CS/SB 1024 — Off-Highway Vehicles

by Transportation Committee; and Senator Dean

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Transportation Committee (TR)

The bill revises the definitions of two types of off-highway vehicles (OHVs), “all-terrain vehicle” (ATV) and “recreational off-highway vehicle” (ROV), to:

  • Remove any reference to the seating type, the steering control mechanism, and the number of passengers; and
  • Increase the authorized width of an ROV from 64 to 65 inches.

Due to these revisions, the definitions of ATV and ROV are distinguished by width, weight, and the number of non-highway wheels. Under both definitions the vehicle must be manufactured for recreational use by one or more persons. The type of seating and the steering mechanism no longer distinguish the two vehicles.

The revisions potentially authorize an OHV currently defined as an ROV to meet the definition of an ATV if the vehicle is 50 inches or less in width, 1,200 pounds or less in dry weight, and designed to travel on three or more non-highway tires. A vehicle currently classified as an ROV that meets the definition of an ATV under the bill may be permitted to access lands not previously accessible, depending upon the rules of operation of the managing local, state, or federal agency.

The bill also clarifies the prohibition against carrying multiple passengers on OHV to prohibit the carriage of more passengers than the vehicle is specifically designed to carry.

Lastly, the bill revises the penalty provision in s. 261.20(6), F.S., to clarify a violator may have the privilege of operating any OHV on public land revoked, not just ATV use. The provisions of s. 261.20, F.S., apply to all OHVs.

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2014. 

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 83-34