Jones’s measure to save off-highway vehicle competitions in California unanimously passes key committee

Legislation by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California was approved unanimously today on a strong bipartisan vote in the Senate Transportation Committee. Senate Bill 894 is the third OHV competition bill Jones has authored in the last three years with the two previous measures easily clearing the Senate only to become stalled in the Assembly.

“I greatly appreciate the bipartisan support from the Senators and staff of the Senate Transportation Committee,” stated Senator Brian W. Jones. “For the last few years, OHV stakeholders, government agencies, and many others have put in countless hours on this issue. We have worked with the environmental community to come up with a compromise that removed their previous opposition. Our hope is that this third time is truly a charm.”

Competition OHVs have long been operated through the Red Sticker program under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This program has allowed competition off-highway vehicles to operate in the state for the past two decades. However, the Red Sticker program ended last year with no program to replace it.

Without a new program, OHV competitions and practice riding on public lands have been thrown into confusion with reports of some competitors still getting Red Stickers and permission to compete while others have not. This uncertainty negatively impacts local businesses, jobs, and the economy of many rural and suburban regions that have long hosted competitions. Additionally, funding for environmental work and law enforcement has also been lost. 

SB 894 would create a new, off-highway vehicle competition program that is narrowly tailored for legitimate competitors only. SB 894 is similar to Jones’s SB 227 from last year and his SB 1024 from the 2019-20 legislative session. Senators Bob Archuleta (D-Pico Rivera), Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa Hurtado (D-Sanger), Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), and Scott Wilk (R-Santa Clarita) and Assemblymember Adam Gray (D-Merced) are all coauthors of SB 894.

SB 894 is cosponsored by the Coalition for Public Access and the California Motorcycle Dealers Association and goes next to the Senate Natural Resources and Water Committee for hearing.