Town of Bethel, NY
Sullivan County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Bethel at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 220.
Racetracks — See Ch. 249.
Zoning — See Ch. 345.

§ 272-1 Intent.

The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating the operation of snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles within the Town of Bethel in a manner which will promote their safe and proper use for recreation and commerce, which will minimize the detrimental effects of such use on the environment and which will permit the use of the highways and other lands of the Town compatible with the use for vehicular and pedestrian travel and other uses.

§ 272-2 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLE or ATV
Defined as set forth at § 2281 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as may be amended or revised.
SNOWMOBILE
Defined as set forth at § 21.05, Subdivision 3, of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, as may be amended or revised.

§ 272-3 Operation of snowmobiles.

A. 
The operation of all snowmobiles within the Town of Bethel shall be governed by Title D, Article 25, of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, as well as any other applicable state statute or regulation, and as supplemented by this chapter.
B. 
Operation of snowmobiles on Town/county highways. Snowmobiles may be operated on the following portions of Town highways which have been designated and posted by the Town of Bethel, and on the following portions of county highways which have been designated, upon the written authorization of the County of Sullivan, and posted by the Town of Bethel as provided in Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law § 25.09:
(1) 
Shoulders and inside banks. On the shoulders and inside banks of such Town highways or portions thereof so designated.
(2) 
Roadways. On roadways of such highways or portions thereof in case the outside banks or shoulders are determined by the Town of Bethel to be impassable or nonexistent by reason of prevailing snow conditions or conditions of terrain.
(3) 
Access areas. On such Town highways, for a distance of not to exceed 500 yards when in the determination of the Town of Bethel it is otherwise impossible for snowmobiles to gain access to areas or trails adjacent to the Town highway, for the purpose only of gaining access to and from the areas of operation.
C. 
Designation of Town/county highways.
(1) 
In accordance with §§ 25.05 and 25.09 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, the Town Board of the Town of Bethel may designate by resolution certain Town or county highway(s), or portions thereof, for snowmobile use as provided in Subsection B of this section. The Town Board may, from time to time, add to or delete from those Town or county highway(s) so designated. A current list of those Town or county highway(s) designated for snowmobile use shall be maintained by the Town Clerk.
(2) 
Snowmobiles may not be operated on any of the highways designated in Subsection C(1) until such designated highways or portions thereof shall be identified by markers posted by, or at the direction of, the Town of Bethel in such manner as may be provided by rules and regulations of the Commissioner of the Department Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
(3) 
Snowmobiles may not be operated on any of the highways designated in Subsection C(1):
(a) 
By any person under the age of 16 years; or
(b) 
At a rate of speed exceeding 25 miles per hour.
D. 
Operating snowmobiles on Town property prohibited. No person shall operate a snowmobile on Town-owned property, including but not limited to the Town Park.

§ 272-4 Operation of all-terrain vehicles.

A. 
The operation of ATVs within the Town of Bethel shall be governed by Articles 48-B and 48-C of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as well as any other applicable state statute or regulation, and as supplemented by this chapter.
B. 
Operation of all-terrain vehicles on Town highways. ATVs may be operated on Town highways, including bridge and culvert crossings, that have been designated and posted by the Town as open for travel by ATVs when, in the determination of the Town, it is otherwise impossible for ATVs to gain access to areas or trails adjacent to the highway.
C. 
Designation of Town highways.
(1) 
In accordance with § 2405 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the Town Board of the Town of Bethel may designate by resolution certain Town or county highway(s), or portions thereof, for ATV use as provided in Subsection B of this section. The Town Board may, from time to time, add to or delete from those Town or county highway(s) so designated. A current list of those Town or county highway(s) designated for ATV use shall be maintained by the Town Clerk.
(2) 
ATVs may not be operated on any of the highways designated in Subsection C(1) until such designated highways or portions thereof shall be identified by markers posted by, or at the direction of, the Town of Bethel in such manner as may be provided by rules and regulations of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.
D. 
Operating all-terrain vehicles on Town property prohibited. No person shall operate an ATV on Town-owned property, including but not limited to the Town Park.
E. 
Restrictions on the operation of all-terrain vehicles. In accordance with § 2404, Subdivision 6, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, the Town adopts the following restrictions regarding the operation of ATVs within the Town. An ATV may not be operated within the Town:
(1) 
By any person under the age of 16 years.
(2) 
At a rate of speed exceeding 25 miles per hour on a Town highway designated under Subsection C of this section.
(3) 
At a rate of speed exceeding the posted limit on any private property, provided that no operator shall exceed the speed of 55 miles per hour, and, if no limit is posted, then 25 miles per hour.
(4) 
Notwithstanding the speed limits set forth in Subsection E(3), above, said speed limits shall not apply to:
(a) 
An emergency vehicle, as the term "emergency vehicle" is defined in the Vehicle and Traffic Law; or
(b) 
A special event where no permit is needed for the special event, or the permit issued for a special event allows speeds in excess of the speed limits set forth in this Subsection E.

§ 272-5 Special events; permit procedures.

A. 
Special events for snowmobiles will be conducted in accordance with 9 NYCRR § 458.1. Persons seeking to conduct a special event for snowmobiles shall not be relieved from compliance with any other authorizations required under applicable law or regulation or this Town Code, including but not limited to any applicable requirements of Chapter 220, Noise; Chapter 249, Racetracks; or Chapter 345, Zoning, hereof.
B. 
Special events for ATVs will be conducted in accordance with § 2408, Subdivision 2, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, this § 272-5B and any applicable requirements of the Town Code, including Chapter 220, Noise; Chapter 249, Racetracks; or Chapter 345, Zoning.
(1) 
Whenever an ATV special event is proposed to be held, the person in charge thereof shall, at least 30 days prior thereto, file an application with the Town Clerk for a permit to conduct said special event and pay the permit fee. The permit fee shall be as set forth in the most current fee schedule of the Town as may be amended from time to time by resolution of the Town Board.
(2) 
No special event shall be conducted without a written permit issued by the Town Board. The permit application shall set forth the name of the applicant; who shall be responsible for ensuring that the activity complies with any permit issued pursuant to this section; and the date, duration and location of the proposed special event and such other information as the Town Board may reasonably require. If the applicant is not the owner of the real property upon which the special event is to be conducted, written authorization of all property owners must accompany the permit application.
(3) 
The Town Board shall either grant or deny the permit to hold a special event within 30 days after receipt of an application for permit. In the event that the Town fails to issue a permit or deny the permit application within 30 days of the receipt of the permit application and the payment of the fee, the permit shall be deemed denied.
(4) 
The Town Board may include any reasonable conditions in the permit as it deems necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public.
(5) 
The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall be furnished with a copy of all such permit applications as required by § 2408, Subdivision 2, of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
(6) 
No permit under this § 272-5B shall be required for a closed-circuit special event held entirely on private property, but the Town and the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles shall be notified in writing of such event at least 30 days prior thereto. The permit exception provided by this Subsection B(6) shall not relieve any person from compliance with any other authorizations required under applicable law or regulation or this Town Code, including but not limited to any applicable requirements of Chapter 220, Noise; Chapter 249, Racetracks; or Chapter 345, Zoning.

§ 272-6 Penalties for offenses.

Except as provided in § 27.11 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law with respect to offenses against traffic regulations, any offense against the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed a violation pursuant to the Penal Law of the State of New York, punishable by a fine of not more than $250 or imprisonment for not more than 15 days, or both.