Albany, NY – Assembly Member Amy Paulin (D-Scarsdale) announces that her bill (A.150/S.2702) which raises the legal age for operating an All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) in New York State from ten to fourteen years old has been signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul (Ch. 539 of 2023).
Paulin’s bill also changes existing law so that children under sixteen operating an ATV will now need to be supervised by someone eighteen-years-old or older.
“ATVs are very dangerous and it’s unbelievable that until now children as young as ten years old, 4th graders, have been allowed to operate them legally in New York State,” said Assemblymember Amy Paulin. “ATVs weigh hundreds of pounds and reach speeds of 70 miles per hour or more. Machines of their weight and speed are just not suitable for young children to operate, and we have seen many preventable tragedies as a result, including here in Westchester County. I’m grateful that State Senator Pete Harckham spearheaded the bill in the Senate, and that Governor Hochul has signed this legislation into law so that we can help prevent ATV-related accidents and deaths.”
“Outdoor recreation should not come with a high risk of catastrophic injury,” said State Senator Pete Harckham. “Our common-sense legislation to raise the age of ATV use from 10 to 14 years old while requiring safety courses will help eliminate potential accidents caused by use of vehicles that can travel as fast as an automobile. Thank you to my legislative colleague Amy Paulin for her steadfast support of the bill and Governor Hochul for signing it into law.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), operating off-highway vehicles (OHVs), including ATVs, involve real risks of overturning, collisions and occupant ejection. The CPSC’s latest report, which tracks OHV accidents between 2016 and 2018, listed 2,211 fatalities—an annual average of more than 700 deaths and 100,000 injuries that required emergency department treatment. ATVs accounted for three-quarters of these fatalities and injuries.
New York is among the top 10 states with reported ATV accidents. According to the CPSC, there were 433 ATV-related deaths in New York between 1982 and 2012.
“Raising the age of ATV riders from 10 to 14 years old will help to ensure that both riders and natural resources are better protected from damage due to inexperienced and immature riders using ATVs in the Adirondacks,” said Claudia Braymer, Deputy Director, Protect the Adirondacks. “We’re especially thankful that Governor Kathy Hochul signed this bill, and that the bill’s sponsors, Assemblymember Amy Paulin and State Senator Pete Harckham, included a provision requiring riders who are under 16 years to be supervised by an adult when they are riding on public lands.Offroad riding of ATVs is not permitted on the State Forest Preserve lands in the Adirondacks or Catskills.”