Information about the New Off-Highway Vehicle Law
Arizona Revised Statute § 49-457.03 prohibits the recre-ational
use of an off-highway vehicle (OHV) on days
when the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
(ADEQ) issues a high pollution advisory (HPA) for small
particulate matter 10 microns or less (PM10).
WHY IS LIMITING THE RECREATIONAL USE
OF OHVS NEEDED?
In recent years, the Valley has not met Federal Air
Quality Health Standards set by the Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA). In order to meet the health
standards, the Valley cannot exceed the EPA’s stan-dard
more than three times in a three-year period.
The EPA has given the Valley another chance to make
progress toward meeting the standard before it steps
in: set a goal to meet federal clean air standards by
2010. To achieve this goal, a plan has been developed
to reduce emissions by 5 percent each year until the
air quality standard is met.
HOW DO EMISSIONS FROM OHVS AFFECT
Emissions from OHVs are one of the top five
off-road sources of particulate emissions in the Valley
(see chart). Everyone needs to contribute to achieving
healthy air. To date, the Valley still has not met the
national public health standards.
WHAT IF THE VALLEY DOESN’T COMPLY?
Federal highway funding can be withheld if an area
does not meet applicable deadlines. If funding for the
Valley is withheld, road construction could be delayed
for years, halting the expansion of our highways and
causing even more gridlock.
WHY IS BREATHING PARTICULATE MATTER
Coarse particulate matter is a mixture of solid and
liquid particles suspended in air. This pollution is made
up of a number of components, including acids, metals,
chemicals, soil particles, and allergens (pollen or mold
spores).The size of particles is important because of
potential health problems. PM10 particles pose a
problem because the particles can get deep into the
lungs – the smaller particles may even get into the
bloodstream, affecting a person’s lungs and heart and
may trigger asthma attacks.
WHY NOT DO MORE ABOUT CARS – THEY
MUST BE A BIGGER CONTRIBUTOR?
Vehicle exhaust has been heavily regulated since
the 1970s. Since that time, tailpipe emissions have
been drastically reduced. Vehicles already must pass
the most rigorous emissions inspections program in
the nation and use cleaner burning fuels.
WHEN DO THE LAW’S RESTRICTIONS APPLY?
Only when ADEQ has issued a HPA for PM10.
ADEQ issued 22 HPAs for PM10 in 2007.
Publication Number: FS 08-18
WHAT ACTIVITIES DOES THIS LAW
The law prohibits the recreational use of any
motorized transportation on an unpaved surface that
is not a public road or private road, street or lawful
easement on High Pollution Advisory days for partic-ulate
matter (PM10). ADEQ issues High Pollution
Advisory (HPA) for PM10. ADEQ issued 22 HPAs for
PM10 in 2007. This includes private lands unless written
permission has been obtained from the land owner.
The law also requires cities and towns in Area A to
adopt, implement and enforce an ordinance that
prohibits the operation of any vehicle, including an
off-highway vehicle (OHV), an all-terrain vehicle
(ATV) or an off-road recreation motor vehicle
(ORRMV), on an unpaved surface that is not a public
or private road, street or lawful easement and that is
closed by the landowner by March 31, 2008. Check
with the local town or city for additional OHV dust rules.
WHEN ARE AIR QUALITY FORECASTS
ADEQ issues an updated forecast by 1 p.m.
Sunday-Friday; the forecast for Saturday is issued on
HOW CAN I TELL WHEN A HPA FOR PM10 HAS
ADEQ’s daily air quality forecast can be found at:
you can signup to receive a text message at:
WHERE CAN I RIDE WHEN A HPA FOR PM10
HAS BEEN ISSUED?
Anywhere outside Area A where off-highway
recreation is authorized. Area A includes greater
Phoenix metropolitan area, a portion of Apache
Junction and a portion of Yavapai County. For a map
of Area A see: www.azstateparks.com/partner-ships/
ohv/OHV_Area_A_Map.jpg.. Arizona State
Parks has a map of places to ride for OHV enthusiasts
available at the following link: www.azs-tateparks.
Please contact the local land agency provided in the
description for more information.
HOW IS THE LAW BEING ENFORCED?
For violations of the law, the control or law
enforcement officer will issue a standard civil ticket
and complaint similar to a traffic ticket. A warning will
be issued for the first violation. A civil penalty of $50
will be issued for the second violation, $100 for the
third violation, and $250 for the fourth or subsequent
WHO IS AUTHORIZED TO ENFORCE THE LAW?
Enforcement officers employed by the Bureau of
Land Management, Arizona State Land Department,
Tonto National Forest, the Maricopa County Sheriff’s
Office, the Pinal County Sherriff’s Office, and local
law enforcement agencies have the authority to issue
a citation for a violation of the OHV law.
WHO CAN I CONTACT FOR MORE
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
Arizona Game and Fish
Arizona State Land Department
Arizona State Parks
Arizona Office – Bureau of Land Management
Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office
Maricopa County Air Quality Department
Pinal County Sheriff’s Office
Tonto National Forest
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