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HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3035         FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2757

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

Thomas M. Stanley

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to establishing a trail maintenance program within the Department of Conservation and Recreation.

_______________

PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex


HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3035        FILED ON: 1/21/2011

HOUSE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 2757

By Mr. Stanley of Waltham, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2757) of Thomas M. Stanley relative to establishing a trail maintenance program within the Department of Conservation and Recreation.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.

 

[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 817 OF 2009-2010.]


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Eleven

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An Act relative to establishing a trail maintenance program within the Department of Conservation and Recreation.
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              SECTION 1. Section 20 of chapter 90B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by adding the following definition:

              “Trails Maintenance Assessment”, a decal issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, which authorizes the operation of registered recreation vehicles on designated motorized trails under the jurisdiction of the department of conservation & recreation. All Trails Maintenance Assessment (TMA) decals shall be issued by the by the New England Trail Rider Association or its successor organization, subject to authorization by the department of conservation and recreation, to recreation vehicle operators, granting use of motorcycle and off road vehicle trails. Each TMA shall be placed on the left front fork of a two-wheeled motorcycle, or on left front side cowl of an all-terrain vehicle.

              SECTION 2. Said Chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by striking out section 21 and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

              “Section 21. No person shall operate a snow vehicle or a recreation vehicle unless such vehicle has been registered in accordance with the provisions of this chapter, and in the case of a recreation vehicle, displays a Trails Maintenance Assessment (TMA) decal and, in the case where said operator is born after January 1, 1988, such person has completed an education and safety program as provided in this section.  Education and safety programs utilized under the provisions of this section shall be established by the ATV Safety Institute, that Motorcycle Safety Foundation, or successor organizations in consultation with the Massachusetts Office of Environmental Law Enforcement and shall include but shall not be limited to instruction on safety precautions and techniques and the environmental impacts of illegal riding as part of the course content.”

              SECTION 3. The second sentence of section 22 of said Chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking the words “and the appropriate fee” and inserting in place thereof the following clause:-

              “, appropriate fee and proof that the person registering the vehicle has completed the education or safety program as provided in this section.”

              SECTION 4. Section 22 of said chapter 90B of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:—

              “The New England Trail Rider Association or its successor organization shall be an agent of the department of conservation and recreation for the issuance of the Trails Maintenance Assessment (TMA) decals as defined in section 21. The TMA shall be valid annually, beginning on May 1 and expiring on April 30 the following year.” 

              SECTION 5. Section 24 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended as follows:

              In line two immediately following the term, "red brake light”, add the following clause, "rear brake light”.

              SECTION 6. Section 25 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended as follows:

              In paragraph 4, following every use of the term “snow vehicle” add "or recreation vehicle”; (for purposes of clarification this would be four insertions.) 

              In addition, in paragraph 7, strike the words "or recreation vehicles”.

              SECTION 7. Section 26 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended as follows:

              (a) Include the paragraph below, immediately following paragraph five of the current Section, which ends with the clause, "in a manner approved by the director”

              “No person shall operate a recreation vehicle on privately owned property, except in cases of emergency, unless: (a) the operator is the owner, lessee, or immediate family member of the owner or lessee of such property; (b) the operator has permission authorizing the operation of a recreation vehicle on such property, or, valid proof of current membership in a club, association or other organization to which express authorization for the operation of recreation vehicle on such property has been granted; provided however, that such operation shall be consistent with the express authorization so granted and any restriction imposed therewith; (or) the owner or lessee of such property has designated the area for use by such recreation vehicles by posting reasonable notice of such designation in a manner approved by the director.

              (b) Include the following paragraph at the end of the Section.

              "All operators of recreation vehicles born after January 1, 1988 and operating on land owned by the Commonwealth must have successfully completed a recreation vehicle safety education class approved by the director of the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement.  Proof of completion of recreation vehicle safety education class must be carried on said operator.”

              SECTION 8.  Section 27 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by including the term "one hundred” immediately preceding the word “dollars” in line 3 of the paragraph.

              In addition include the following sentence at the end of the paragraph: "Any officer authorized to enforce chapter 90B shall immediately notify the Office of Environmental Law Enforcement of any snow vehicle or recreation vehicle accident described above. The director or his designee shall investigate the accident."

              SECTION 9.:  Section 32 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the second sentence and inserting in place thereof the following sentence:

              “Whoever while operating or in charge of any snow vehicle or recreation vehicle, other than on property owned or leased by the operator or on privately owned property when the operator has been authorized by said property owner, refuses to stop such vehicle after having been requested or signaled to do so by any such officer, or whoever refuses to give his true and correct name and address or refuses to display the certificate of number of such vehicle, and surrender to such officer for examination, and in the case of a recreation vehicle, refuses to display a Trails Maintenance Assessment Decal (TMA), shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred, or imprisonment of not more than sixty days or both.”

              SECTION 10. Section 34 of said chapter 90B, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking the entire paragraph and replace it with the following:

              Whoever violates any provision of sections twenty-one to thirty-three, inclusive, of this chapter 90B or of any rule made hereunder, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred, or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than sixty days or both.

              SECTION 11. Chapter 132 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out section 38A and inserting in place thereof the following section:—

              Section 38A. The department of conservation and recreation shall construct and maintain trails for horseback riding, hiking, ski touring, snowmobiling, recreation vehicle riding and other uses on land within the control of the division of state parks and recreation in accordance with its off-road vehicle management plan which will minimize conflicting uses and allow each of the aforementioned activities sufficient trail mileage to participate comfortably and safely. The trails shall be open year round except when weather or trail conditions render the trail usage unsafe or a significant threat to department resources. The department may prepare and publish trail maps and other informational material to inform the public of the location and nature of such trails. To the extent practicable, the voluntary services of trail using organizations and individuals shall be utilized in carrying out the work authorized hereunder. Expenses authorized by this section and section 38, including the acquisition of land or easements therein, surveying and mapping, and the cost of development and construction and expenses incidental thereto, may be paid out of funds theretofore or hereafter made available for the purpose of chapter 132A.

              The department shall establish rules and regulations for the issuance of Trails Maintenance Assessment (TMA) decals, as defined in section 20 of chapter 90B. The rules and regulations shall include but not be limited to the following:

              (a) The associations designated in section 20 of chapter 90B shall collect the fee for said decal and provide an annual accounting report to the commissioner.

              (b) Funds generated from the sale of decals shall be used by said associations exclusively for trail establishment, maintenance, enforcement, and decal distribution as authorized by the department.

              (c) Any money remaining from the sale of said decals at the end of a fiscal year shall be carried over to the next and succeeding fiscal years and shall only be used for the purposes stated in this section.

              SECTION 12.   Section 1 of chapter 90C of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2002 Official Edition, is hereby amended by modifying the definition of “Automobile law violation” as follows:

              Striking the clause “A recreation vehicle and a snow vehicle, both as defined in section 20 of Chapter 90B, a” and add a capital “A” immediately proceeding “motorized bicycle”.

              In addition add the following sentence to the end of the paragraph, “A recreation vehicle or snow vehicle, as defined in section 20 of chapter 90B, shall not be considered a motor vehicle for purposes of this chapter”

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