Introduced by Representatives Hube of Londonderry and Marek of Newfane
Subject: Motor vehicles; town highways; class 4 town highways; organized motor vehicle events
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to:
(1) Define an “organized motor vehicle event.”
(2) Clarify that the approval of the secretary of transportation is not required when municipalities act to restrict or control uses of class 4 town highways and trails.
(3) Set forth the provisions for conducting an organized motor vehicle event.
AN ACT RELATING TO ORGANIZED MOTOR VEHICLE EVENTS ON TOWN HIGHWAYS
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
Sec. 1. 23 V.S.A. § 4(74) is added to read:
Except as may be otherwise provided herein, and unless the context otherwise requires in statutes relating to motor vehicles and enforcement of the law regulating vehicles, as provided in this title and part 5 of Title 20, the following definitions shall apply:
* * *
(74) “Organized motor vehicle event” means an event which is sponsored or organized by a person, group, association, club, or organization and which involves directing or dispatching more than six motor vehicles to travel over municipal highways or legal town trails on a predetermined route or course. This shall include events such as organized automobile tours, recreational motorcycle riding events, and “steeplechase” events involving both on- and off‑road riding or driving.
Sec. 2. 23 V.S.A. § 1042(a) is amended to read:
(a) The legislative body of a municipality may, with the approval of the secretary of transportation, designate highways and bridges under their control, except for class 1 town highways, for use by specified types of motor vehicles based on volume and type of traffic and character of the neighborhood. Approval of the secretary shall not be required for designations involving class 4 town highways and town trails. However, when the legislative body of a municipality requests in writing, the secretary of transportation may set the weight limit on a class 1 town highway at less than the state highway limit under section 1392 of this title, if a reasonable alternative route is available for those vehicles traveling at the state highway limit. When a highway or bridge has been so restricted, signs shall be placed in accordance with the provisions of 23 V.S.A. § 1397.
Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 1493 is added to read:
§ 1493. ORGANIZED MOTOR VEHICLE EVENTS
(a) Definition. An “organized motor vehicle event” is an event as defined in subdivision 4(74) of this title.
(b) Permit required. An organized motor vehicle event may not be conducted on town highways or legal trails unless the legislative body of the affected municipality has issued a permit to do so. Fire departments, rescue squads, public schools and school districts, law enforcement agencies, and agencies of the state of Vermont shall be exempt from this permit requirement. In considering whether to issue a permit, the legislative body shall consider:
(1) The capacity of the town highways involved to accommodate safely the volume of traffic proposed.
(2) The safety of the participants and local inhabitants.
(3) The character of the area involved and impacts such as noise, dust, and disruption of local traffic.
(4) The availability of and cost of providing adequate policing to ensure that motor vehicle laws are obeyed.
(5) The availability of and cost of providing adequate fire and rescue coverage for the event.
(c) Additional permit factors. In addition to the factors enumerated in subsection (b) of this section, the legislative body may consider such factors as it deems relevant to the issuance of the permit. The legislative body may deny the application for a permit or may attach such conditions as it deems necessary to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare.
(d) Penalties. A person, group, association, club, or organization found in violation of this section or of the provisions or conditions of any permit issued pursuant to this section shall be fined not more than $1,000.00 plus reasonable costs incurred by the town as a result of the violation.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street