Operation of ATVs and Snowmobiles

East Brandywine Police has experienced an increased number of complaints regarding the operation of ATV's and snowmobiles on private or state owned property.  In an effort to better educate the public, I want to list some of the rules and regulations concerning the operation of these motorized vehicles as they relate to Pennsylvania state law. These rules and regulations are found in Title 75, The Vehicle Laws of Pennsylvania. Although the monetary penalties are different for the sections, it should be noted that they range from $200 to $2,000 dollars and those persons cited can lose their driving privileges for six months. Penalties also apply to the vehicle owners and/or in most cases the parents.            

Section 3717 makes it illegal to knowingly operate an ATV or snowmobile on private or real property without the consent of the owner. East Brandywine Township has very few areas where the owners give permission to ride.  Most of the violations occur on private property or real property such as PECO lines etc. Subsections to 3717 lists the violations for doing damage to property or land as a result of the illegal activity. Property owners are not required to post property "No Trespassing".

Section 7724 further explains that a person operating a motor vehicle in violation of section 3717 must stop and identify themselves to the owner of the property or a duly authorized representative (i.e.: Police Officer) when required. Failure to do so can result in fines and suspension of the persons PA drivers license. If the rider is under 16 years of age the penalty does not begin until after their 16 th birthday.

Section 7725 outlines the requirements for persons under the age of 16 years. The main point under this section is the youth must have proper training and hold a safety certificate issued by the department (PennDOT). Again, the owner of the ATV or snowmobile and/or the parents can be cited and fined for allowing the violations.

Section 7728 requires accident reports to be filed with the police when there is an incident involving and ATV or snowmobile.

Section 7729 and 7730 makes owners of ATV's or snowmobiles liable for damages, negligence, injuries and deaths, attributed to their vehicle. It is also the owner's responsibility to maintain and present proof of insurance for the ATV or snowmobile.

These are some of the main highlights regarding the laws on ATV's and snowmobiles. If you have any questions you can access the Pa. Vehicle Code through a link on our web site.


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