Press release on 4323; signed by the Gov
Press release from Rep Sheltron. .pdf attached below. Grabbed latest I could find, Should be passed version.
House Bill 4323, which provides clear legal authority for counties, townships, cities and villages in northern Michigan to allow ORVs on their road shoulders was signed into law this morning. It is now Public Act 240 of 2008.
Counties, cities and villages may begin the process of adopting their ordinances immediately. Under the new law, counties must provide a 45 day comment period to their country road commissioners and the DNR (if state forest land is in the county). County ordinances won't go into affect until approved by the county board of commissioners following this 45 day period. Cities and villages do not need to provide a comment period and could adopt ordinances for their streets beginning today. Under law, townships may not begin the process of adopting their ordinances until July 17, 2009 unless empowered by the county to do so sooner. A model ordinance will be available through my office or by contacting the Michigan Association of Counties.
Please be aware that the new law removed the old "access route" language previously in law. Consequently, none of the existing ORV ordinances in any northern Michigan county, including the counties in Upper Peninsula are valid. Until new ordinances are adopted, it is not legal to drive an ORV on a road or street anywhere in Michigan.
Another common question about the new law is whether it covers golf carts. While it is possible to drive a golf cart on an ORV trail in the state provided it has an ORV permit, this does not legally make a golf cart an ORV. In order to qualify as an ORV, a golf cart has to capable of cross country travel without benefit of road or trail. While some golf carts have been modified to accomplish this and would likely qualify under the new law, the standard golf cart would not qualify.
I would like to thank all of you who helped in drafting this legislation during the public comment process and for helping lobby for this bill during the past two years. We overcame stiff opposition from the County Road Association of Michigan and various other Lansing special interests and bureaucrats. Many people doubted we would succeed. But today, we have prevailed in making a historic change to ORV law in Michigan.
Enjoy your weekend and start contacting your county commissioners to get an ordinance adopted in your area!
103rd House District
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