On Thursday, June 1st, the NYS Senate announced that it had granted final passage to bill S.2702/A.150 which would amend the NYS Vehicle and Traffic Law to increase the minimum age for operating an all-terrain vehicle without adult supervision to 14 years of age. Current law allows children as young as 10 to operate an ATV alone.
The bill was returned to the Assembly, where it had already passed. It now awaits transmission to Governor Kathy Hochul for a signature. It was sponsored by Sen. Environmental Conservation Committee Chair Peter Harckham, D-Peekskill and Assembly Member Amy Paulin, D-Scarsdale.
In 2019, the Adirondack Council published a report WRONG WAY: How NY Can Course-Correct on ATVs to explain the damage done to the Adirondack Park environment and public safety by poorly regulated ATV use.
One of those recommendations was to raise the age of unsupervised operators. The Council sought an increase to age 16. The Adirondack Council’s primary motivation was to better protect children from injury and death. Raising the age will also help decrease environmental damage caused by unsupervised and inexperienced riders.