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Jones’s Measure To Save Off-highway Vehicle Competitions Unanimously Passes Assembly Committee

By   /  July 8, 2024  /  No Comments


Sacramento, CA -Last week, Senate Bill 708 by Senate Minority Leader Brian W. Jones (R-San Diego) to save off-highway vehicle (OHV) competitions in California was approved on a unanimous, bipartisan vote in the Assembly Transportation Committee. Click here for the bill’s factsheet.

“SB 708 had another successful committee hearing with more bipartisan backing from our years of efforts to get this important legislation passed,” said Senator Brian W. Jones. “We’ve worked hard for the past five years with OHV stakeholders and affected governmental agencies, including State Parks and the Air Resources Board. SB 708 is a true consensus measure that will allow OHV competition riders to continue their sport in a safe and responsible manner while being a strong part of the recreational economies in rural and suburban California.”

Senate Bill 708 establishes a special permit so Californians may operate certain off-road motorcycles at sanctioned events. Specifically, the measure will create a new sanctioned event permit program for competition motorcycles to replace the Red Sticker registration program that ended in 2021. SB 708 will provide a cost-effective, bureaucratically streamlined identification decal that is to be displayed on competition motorcycles when operated at sanctioned events on public lands.

Competition OHVs have long been regulated through the Red Sticker program under the California Air Resources Board (CARB). This program has allowed competition OHVs to operate in the state for the past two decades. However, the Red Sticker program ended in 2021 with no program to replace it.

Without a new program, OHV competitions on public lands have been thrown into confusion as rules now fall to the individual land managers causing inconsistencies across the state. This uncertainty negatively impacts local businesses, jobs, and the economy of many rural and suburban regions that have long-hosted competitions. Additionally, funding for environmental work and law enforcement has also been lost.

SB 708 is cosponsored by the Coalition for Public Access, and is supported by ABATE of California, AirFlow Heating, American Motorcyclist Association, ARCH Motorcycle Company, Bay Area Riders Forum, California Custom Trailers & Powersports, California Motorcycle Dealers Association, California Wilderness Coalition, Chaparral Motorsports, CJC Club, District 36 Motorcycle Sports Committee, Inc., FMF Racing, Fox Racing, Hardline Products Inc., K and B Motorsports, KTM North American, Malcom Smith Motorcycles, Motion Pro Inc, Motorcycle Industry Council, OC Motorcycle, San Diego Off-Road Coalition, Sierra Motor Sports, Siskiyou County Off-Road Riders, Spirit Motorcycles San Jose, Thorsport Racing, Timekeepers Motorcycle Club, Tracy Motorsports Inc., Tuleyome, Yoshimura, and 40 Plus Vintage Group.

SB 708 is the fourth attempt by Leader Jones to fix OHV competitions in California. Leader Jones’s bipartisan Senate Bill 1024 (2020) was on the verge of a Senate concurrence vote when the legislative session adjourned at midnight on August 31, 2020. His bipartisan Senate Bill 227 (2021) passed out of the Senate with bipartisan support, but died on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense file. Leader Jones’s bipartisan Senate Bill 894 (2022) passed out of both the Senate and Assembly with strong bipartisan support, but was vetoed by Governor Gavin Newsom due to its fiscal impact on the Department of Motor Vehicles. This year’s SB 708 addresses concerns from previous versions of the bill, including Governor Newsom’s veto message.

“We are committed to fixing OHV competitions in California,” continued Leader Jones. “While our past three efforts have stalled, we are hopeful that this fourth attempt will succeed. We are not giving up.”

After its unanimous passage in policy committee, SB 708 now heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee for consideration. 

Senator Brian W. Jones represents the 40th Senate District which includes the Cities of Escondido, Poway, San Marcos, Santee, San Diego City communities of Carmel Mountain Ranch, Mira Mesa, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch, Sorrento Valley, and University City, along with the San Diego County unincorporated communities of 4S Ranch, Alpine, Bonsall, Fallbrook, Lakeside, Pine Valley, Rainbow, Ramona, and Valley Center.

Senator Brian Jones | State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814


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