Senator Jones’s measure to save off-highway vehicle competitions clears key Senate committee

SB 227 garners strong bipartisan vote in Senate Transportation Committee

Senate Bill 227, a measure by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California, was approved by a key Senate Committee.

Competition OHVs have long been registered 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 is set to end this year with no plan to replace it.  Without a new program, off-highway vehicle competitions and practice riding on public lands will be put to an end in California at a great loss to local businesses, competitors, and a storied tradition of competition. Importantly, funding for environmental work and law enforcement will also be lost.  SB 227 creates a new, off-highway vehicle identification program under California Department of Parks and Recreation that is narrowly tailored for legitimate competitors only.

“I appreciate the strong bipartisan show of support from the members of the Senate Transportation Committee,” said Senator Brian W. Jones.  “SB 227 is a result of extensive discussions the last two years between OHV stakeholders and affected government agencies, including CARB and State Parks.  OHV competitions are a traditional sport greatly important to the economies of suburban and rural California.  This measure allows OHV competitions to continue here in California.”

SB 227 is a reintroduction of Jones’s SB 1024 from last session, which was on the verge of a Senate concurrence vote when the legislative session adjourned at midnight on August 31, 2020.  SB 227 is a bipartisan measure coauthored by Senators Ben Hueso (D-San Diego), Melissa Hurtado (D-Fresno), and Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), and Assemblymembers Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), Adam Gray (D-Merced), and Thurston Smith (R-Hesperia).  SB 227 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.