Senator Jones’s Measure to Save Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Competitions Clears Senate

Senate Bill 227, a measure by Senator Brian W. Jones (R-Santee) to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California, was approved today by the State Senate on a vote of 26 - 8.

“I sincerely appreciate the strong backing our measure has received from a bi-partisan majority of Senators,” said Senator Brian W. Jones.  “OHV stakeholders, government agencies, and many others have worked the last couple of years on this issue.  OHV competitions are a key part of the recreational economies in rural and suburban California and this measure will keep competitions operating throughout the state.”

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.

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), Susan Rubio (D-Baldwin Park), and Brian Dahle (R-Bieber), and Assemblymembers Jim Frazier (D-Fairfield), Adam Gray (D-Merced), James Ramos (D-Highland) 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 State Assembly.