Town of Wilna, NY
Jefferson County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Wilna 6-10-1996 by L.L. No. 1-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to revoke the Town of Wilna Snowmobile Ordinance and to enact a new local law to protect the public health, welfare and safety by regulating the operation of snowmobiles on public highways and places of the Town of Wilna in a manner which will be comparable with the use of such highways and places for vehicular and pedestrian travel and other uses. This will promote the proper and safe use and operation of snowmobiles for recreation and commerce and will minimize the detrimental effects of such use upon the environment.
As used in this chapter, unless the context requires otherwise, the following definitions shall be applicable:
BANK
A mound, pile or ridge of snow on the edge of a highway accumulated from natural snowfall or by snow plowing operations.
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation of the State of New York.
COUNTY
The County of Jefferson, New York.
HIGHWAY
The entire width between the boundary lines of any way or place when any part thereof is open to the use of the public, as a matter of right, for the purposes of vehicular traffic.
INSIDE BANK
The portion of a snow bank immediately adjacent to the shoulder of the roadway.
OPERATE
To ride in or on, other than as a passenger, or use or control the operation of a snowmobile in any manner, whether or not said snowmobile is underway.
OPERATOR
Every person who operates or is in actual physical control of a snowmobile.
OUTSIDE BANK
The portion of a snow bank outside the crest thereof and farthest removed from the roadway.
OWNER
Any person having title to a snowmobile. If a snowmobile is sold under a contract of conditional sale whereby the title remains in the vendor, such vendor or his assignee shall not after delivery of such snowmobile, be deemed an owner within the provisions of this section, but the vendee or his assignee, upon receipt of possession thereof, shall be deemed such owner notwithstanding the terms of such contract until the vendor or his assignee shall retake possession of such snowmobile. A person holding only a security interest in a snowmobile shall not be deemed an owner unless such person also has possession of such snowmobile.
ROADWAY
That portion of a highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder.
SHOULDER
That portion of a highway which lies outside the paved or unpaved roadway immediately adjacent to the portion of the roadway which may be used by motor vehicles.
SNOWMOBILE
A self-propelled vehicle designed for travel on snow or ice, steered by skis or runners and supported in whole or in part by one or more skis, belts or cleats.
STATE
The State of New York.
SUPERVISOR
The Supervisor of the Town of Wilna.
TOWN
The Town of Wilna in Jefferson County, New York.
A. 
Designated Town highways. The following highways are set forth as "highways designated by governmental agencies" upon which snowmobiles may be operated on the shoulders and inside banks as permitted by Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation Law § 25.05, Subdivision 7 and § 25.09:
(1) 
All Town Roads in the Town of Wilna.
B. 
Annually, the Town Board shall, by resolution, at its regular August meeting, designate the Town highways upon which snowmobiles may be operated pursuant to this chapter, and in the event the Town Board does not so designate, the same Town Highways as were previously designated by the Town Board shall be deemed to be the Town Highways upon which snowmobiles may be operated pursuant to this chapter.
C. 
Designated county highways. In addition, snowmobiles may be operated on the shoulders and inside banks of all county highways within the Town and as so designated by the County Board of Legislators.
D. 
Unplowed highways. Snowmobiles may not be operated on seasonal use roadways, or any portion thereof, unless the roadway or a portion thereof has been identified under § 182-3A of this chapter.
E. 
Emergencies. Snowmobiles may be operated for the purpose of emergency travel only, during the periods of time when and at locations where snow upon the highway renders travel by motor vehicles impractical as so declared by the Supervisor of the Town. A snowmobile may also be operated on a highway otherwise closed to snowmobile travel in emergency situations when the specific travel for a specific purpose is authorized or directed by a peace officer, police officer, the Highway Superintendent of the Town or county, the Supervisor or the County Administrator.
F. 
Highway crossings. Snowmobiles may be operated so as to take a direct crossing of a highway at any time of the day provided the crossing is made at an angle approximately 90° to the direction of the highway, and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing, and the snowmobile is brought to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or main traveled way of the highway and the driver yields the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic which constitutes an immediate hazard.
G. 
Culverts and bridges. Snowmobiles may be operated on highways when necessary to cross a bridge or culvert.
H. 
Outside banks. Snowmobiles may be operated on the outside banks of highways in the Town.
I. 
Roadways. Snowmobiles may be operated on the roadways of the highways designated in § 182-3A or the portions thereof in case the outside banks or shoulders are determined by the Supervisor to be impassible or non-existent by reason of prevailing snow conditions or conditions of terrain.
J. 
Access areas. Snowmobiles may be operated on the highways designated in § 182-3A for a distance not to exceed 500 yards when, in the determination of the Supervisor, it is otherwise impossible for snowmobiles to gain access to areas or trails adjacent to the highway, for the purpose only of gaining access to and from the areas of operation.
A. 
Speed restrictions.
(1) 
No person shall operate a snowmobile at a speed or in a fashion that is not reasonable and prudent for the conditions then and there existing;
(2) 
The operator of every snowmobile shall, consistent with the requirements of § 182-4B, drive at an appropriately reduced speed when approaching and crossing an intersection, highway, roadway, trail, mogul or railroad crossing, or when approaching or rounding a curve, or approaching a hill crest, or when approaching any other obstacle or debris in or upon the highway, roadway, shoulder of roadway, trail, public lands or water, or private lands.
(3) 
No person shall operate a snowmobile greater than the posted speed limit of 55 mph. This shall pertain to public roadways, trails or private lands.
B. 
Traffic control devices. Operators of snowmobiles shall comply with and obey all uniform traffic control devices and signs:
(1) 
Stop signs. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every operator of a snowmobile approaching a stop sign shall stop at the stop sign before entering the intersection where the operator shall have a view of approaching traffic on the intersecting roadway or trail and the right to proceed shall be subject to the provisions of § 182-4D of this chapter.
(2) 
Yield signs. The operator of every snowmobile approaching a yield sign if required for safety to stop shall stop before entering the intersection and the right to proceed shall be subject to § 182-4D of this chapter.
C. 
Following too close. The operator of every snowmobile shall not follow another snowmobile or motor vehicle closer than is reasonable and prudent, having due regard for the speed of such snowmobile or motor vehicle and traffic, and the condition of such trail or public highway.
D. 
Right-of-way.
(1) 
The operator of a snowmobile approaching an intersection shall yield the right-of-way to a vehicle which has entered the intersection from a different highway.
(2) 
When two snowmobiles enter an intersection from different highways or trails at approximately the same time, the operator of the snowmobile on the left shall yield the right-of-way to the snowmobile on the right.
(3) 
Left turns. The operator of a snowmobile intending to turn to the left within an intersection or into an alley, trail, private road or driveway, shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle approaching from the opposite direction which is within the intersection or so close as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(4) 
Stop signs. Except when directed to proceed by a police officer, every operator of a snowmobile approaching a stop sign shall stop as required by § 182-4B(1) of this chapter and after having stopped shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle or snowmobile which has entered the intersection from another highway or which is approaching so closely on said highway as to constitute an immediate hazard.
(5) 
Yield signs. The operator of a snowmobile approaching a yield sign shall in obedience to such sign slow down to a speed reasonable and prudent for existing conditions, or shall stop if necessary as provided in § 182-4B(2) of this chapter, and shall yield the right-of-way to any vehicle or snowmobile in the intersection or approaching so closely as to constitute an immediate hazard during the time such driver is moving across or within the intersection. Provided that if such snowmobile operator is involved in a collision with a vehicle or snowmobile in the intersection after driving past the yield sign without stopping, such collision shall be deemed prima facie evidence of his failure to yield the right-of-way.
(6) 
Entering roadway. The operator of a snowmobile about to enter or cross a roadway or trail from any place other than another roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles and snowmobiles approaching on the roadway or trail to be entered or crossed.
E. 
Operating on right side of roadway trail. Upon all roadways and trails, a snowmobile shall be driven upon the right half of such roadway or trail except as follows:
(1) 
When overtaking and passing another snowmobile or vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules included in § 182-4G of this chapter.
(2) 
When overtaking or passing pedestrians, animals or obstructions on the right half of the roadway or trail.
(3) 
When an obstruction exists, making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the roadway or trail, provided, any person so doing shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles and snowmobiles traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the roadway or trail within such distances as to constitute an immediate hazard.
F. 
Except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic, or in order to comply with a lawful order of a police officer or traffic control device, no person shall stop, stand or park a snowmobile on the roadway, public trail, or any other area that is traveled by snowmobiles, which would obstruct or interfere with the movement of snowmobiles or other traffic upon such roadway, public trail, or other areas traveled by snowmobiles, and all snowmobiles shall park in a single file.
G. 
Overtaking vehicles or snowmobiles on the left. The following rules shall govern the overtaking and passing of vehicles and/or snowmobiles proceeding in the same direction, subject to those limitations, exceptions and special rules hereinafter stated:
(1) 
The driver of a snowmobile overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass to the left thereof at a safe distance and shall not again drive to the right side of the roadway until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle.
(2) 
The driver of an overtaken snowmobile shall give way to the right in favor of the overtaking snowmobile and shall not increase the speed of his snowmobile until completely passed by the overtaking snowmobile.
(3) 
No snowmobile shall be driven to the left of the center of the roadway or trail in overtaking and passing another snowmobile or other vehicle proceeding in the same direction unless such left side is clearly visible and is free of oncoming traffic for a sufficient distance ahead to permit such overtaking and passing to be completely made without interfering with the operation of any vehicle or snowmobile approaching from the opposite direction or any vehicle overtaken. In every event, the overtaking vehicle must return to an authorized lane of travel as soon as practicable and in the event the passing movement involves the use of a lane authorized for snowmobiles or other vehicles approaching from the opposite direction, before coming within 200 feet of any approaching snowmobile or vehicle.
H. 
Liability insurance.
(1) 
All snowmobiles operated on public lands, roadways, waters or private lands not owned and/or leased by the owner or operator of the snowmobile shall be covered by liability insurance as per § 25.13 of the New York State snowmobile law.
(2) 
No owner of a snowmobile shall operate or permit the same to be operated upon the roadways, shoulders or roadways, public lands, waters or private lands not owned and/or leased by the owner or operator of the snowmobile without having in full force and effect, the liability insurance coverage required by § 25.13 of the New York State snowmobile law, and no person shall operate a snowmobile upon the highways, roadways, shoulders of roadways, public waters or lands or private lands not owned and/or leased by the owner of said snowmobile with the knowledge that such insurance is not in full force and effect.
(3) 
Proof of insurance as required by this section shall be produced and displayed by the owner or operator of such snowmobile upon the request of any magistrate or any person having authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The failure to produce such proof upon the request of any such person shall not be an offense but shall be presumptive evidence that the snowmobile is being operated without having such insurance in force and effect.
(4) 
Proof of insurance as required by this section shall be produced and displayed by the owner or operator of such snowmobile to any person who has suffered or claims to have suffered either personal injury or property damage as a result of the operation of such snowmobile by the owner or operator, if such insurance coverage was required under the circumstances of such operation. It shall be an affirmative defense to any prosecution for a violation of this subdivision that such proof was so produced or displayed within 24 hours of receiving notice of such injury or damage, or the claim of such injury or damage.
(5) 
No owner of a snowmobile shall operate or permit the same to be operated upon the shoulders or roadways of highways without having in full force and effect, the liability insurance coverage required by this section, and no person shall operate a snowmobile upon the shoulders or roadways of highways with knowledge that such insurance is not in full force and effect.
I. 
Reckless operation. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile in a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to unreasonably endanger the person or property of another or to cause injury or damage thereto:[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 4.10, Intoxication and drugs, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
J. 
Lights. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile between sunset and sunrise or when lights are required for safety without displaying at least one lighted headlight and tail light.
K. 
Plantings. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile in any tree nursery or planting in a manner which damages or destroys growing stock, or creates a substantial risk thereto.
L. 
On lands of another. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile on private property without consent of the owner or lessee thereof. Any person operating a snowmobile upon lands of another in violation of this § 182-4L shall stop and identify himself or herself upon the request of the landowner, or the landowner's duly authorized representative or lessee, and if requested to do so by the landowner, representative or lessee shall promptly remove the snowmobile from the premises.
M. 
Towing of sleigh, sled or toboggan. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile while towing a sleigh, sled or toboggan, unless attached by a rigid support, connection or tow bar.
N. 
Failure to stop and yield. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile in any place at any time and fail to stop and yield to an authorized ambulance, civil defense, or police snowmobile or police vehicle being operated as an emergency vehicle and approaching from any direction.
O. 
Failure and refusal to comply. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile in any place at any time and fail or refuse to comply with any lawful order or direction of any police officer or other person duly empowered to enforce the laws of the state and/or Town relating to snowmobiles.
P. 
Single lane. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile on any highway when otherwise permitted unless in a single file, and such persons shall not ride tandem or abreast of each other except in overtaking another snowmobile, and such persons shall travel on the right side of the road in the same direction as the flow of vehicular traffic.
Q. 
Skis or sleigh, sled or toboggan. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile on or across a highway while pulling a person on skis or drawing or towing a sleigh, sled or toboggan which carries or transports any person. No person on skis shall be pulled by, and no person shall ride on or in a sleigh, sled or toboggan which is being towed or trailed by a snowmobile on a highway.
R. 
Public waters. No person shall drive or operate any snowmobile on the frozen surface of public waters within 100 feet of a person or within 100 feet of a fishing shanty or shelter except at the minimum speed required to maintain forward movement of the snowmobile or on an area which has been cleared of snow for skating purposes unless the area is necessary for access to the public water.
No person shall drive or operate a snowmobile on a highway within the Town unless it is equipped with the required headlight, taillight, brakes, reflector material, and muffler as defined by and in accordance with the minimum standards of § 25.17 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law of the State of New York.
A. 
Impaired operation. No person shall operate a snowmobile on a street, highway, public trail or lands while such person's ability to operate such snowmobile is impaired by the consumption of alcohol or by the use of a drug as defined by § 114-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
B. 
Intoxicated operation. No person shall operate a snowmobile on a street, highway, public trail or lands while such person is in an intoxicated condition.
C. 
Alcohol by weight. No person shall operate a snowmobile on a street highway, public trails or lands while such person has 0.08 of 1% or more by weight of alcohol in such person's blood as shown by a chemical analysis of the blood, breath, urine or saliva made pursuant to the provisions of § 25.24, Subdivision 6, of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
D. 
Combined effect. No person shall operate a snowmobile while such person's ability to operate such snowmobile is impaired by the combined effects of the consumption of alcohol and the use of one or more drugs as defined by § 114-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law.
E. 
Misdemeanor. A violation of § 182-6B, C or D of this section, shall be a misdemeanor and shall be punishable as provided in the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law § 25.24, Subdivision 1(e).
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
F. 
Incorporation by reference. The provisions of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law § 25.24, Subdivisions 2, 3, 4 and 5, are incorporated herein by reference with the same force and effect as if set forth at length herein.
G. 
Lesser charge. A snowmobile operator may be convicted of a violation of § 182-6A, B, C or D notwithstanding that the charge laid before the Court alleged a violation of § 182-6B, C or D, and regardless of whether or not such conviction is based upon a plea of guilty.
A. 
Accident report. The operator of any snowmobile involved in any accident resulting in injuries to or death of any person or in which property damage in the estimated amount of $100 or more is sustained, shall within seven days after such accident, report the matter, in writing, to the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation of the state, with a copy thereof to the Sheriff of the County. If such operator is physically incapable of making such report and there is another participant in the accident not so incapacitated, such participant shall make the report within the allotted time after such accident. In the event that there is no other participant and the operator is other than the owner, then the owner shall, within the prescribed period of time, after learning of the facts of such accident, report the matter to the Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation of the state, together with such information as may have come to his knowledge relating to such accident. Every such operator of a snowmobile, or participant in any such accident or the owner of the snowmobile involved in any such accident, shall make such other and additional reports as the Commissioner shall require.
B. 
Personal injury. Whenever any snowmobile meets with an accident involving a loss of life, personal injury or damage to property and the operator thereof has knowledge of such accident, he shall stop and give his name and address, the name and address of the owner thereof and the registration number assigned to said snowmobile to the injured person or the person sustaining the damage, or to a peace or police officer. In the event the person sustaining the damage is not present at the place where the damage occurred, the operator shall, as soon as physically able, report the same to the nearest law enforcement agency.
C. 
Police report. A peace, police, or judicial officer who investigates or receives information of an accident involving a snowmobile shall make a written report of the investigation or information received, and such additional facts relating to the accident as may come to his knowledge and mail the same within 48 hours to the Office of Parks. Recreation and Historic Preservation of the state, and keep a record thereof in his office.
D. 
Evidence. Failure of such persons to give notice of any accident requiring notice shall be prima facie evidence that such accident was not reported.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
Age of operator. No person under 18 years of age shall operate a snowmobile except as provided for in this subsection.
(1) 
No person under the age of 14 years shall operate a snowmobile except upon lands owned or leased by his or her parent or guardian." Leased lands" as herein used shall not include lands leased by an organization of which said operator or his parent or guardian is a member.
(2) 
A person 10 years of age or older but less than 14 years of age who holds a valid snowmobile safety certificate issued by the commissioner may operate a snowmobile on any lands upon which snowmobiling is allowed if accompanied by a person over 18 years of age. For the purpose of this section, “accompanied” shall mean within 500 feet of the person over 18 years of age.
(3) 
A person who is at least 14 years of age but who has not attained his or her 18th birthday who either holds a valid snowmobile safety certificate issued by the commissioner or is accompanied by a person over 18 years of age may operate a snowmobile in the same manner as a person over 18 years of age.
B. 
Exhibition of certificate. The failure of such a youthful operator to exhibit a snowmobile safety certificate upon demand to any magistrate or any other officer having authority to enforce the provisions of this chapter shall not be an offense but shall be presumptive evidence that such person is not the holder of such certificate.
C. 
Owner responsibility. No owner of a snowmobile shall authorize or permit the operation thereof within the state by any person in violation of the provisions of § 182-8.
D. 
Owner responsibility for other provisions of this section. No owner or other person in possession of any snowmobile shall authorize or knowingly permit any person under 16 years of age, to operate such a snowmobile in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the Rules and Regulations of the Commissioner of Parks. Recreation and Historic Preservation, or the provisions of any state law or ordinance.
E. 
Parent or guardian responsibility. No parent or guardian shall authorize or knowingly permit his or her child or ward, if under 18 years of age, to operate a snowmobile in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, the Rules or Regulations of the Commissioner, or the provisions of any state law or ordinance regulating snowmobiles.
Every peace officer, police officer, conservation officer in the Department of Environmental Conservation, and employees of the office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation as may be designated by the Commissioner shall enforce the provisions of this chapter. Such enforcement officer shall be authorized to issue appearance tickets and simplified traffic information for any violation of this chapter.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be guilty of a violation, subject to a fine not to exceed $250, 15 days’ imprisonment, or both, for each offense. Notwithstanding the foregoing, however, a violation of § 182-6 of this chapter shall be subject to the penalties as set forth in § 182-6E of this chapter. Upon conviction of a violation of any provision of Article 25 of the Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Law, a court may also require the convicted person, as a condition of the sentence in addition to any other penalty, to successfully complete a snowmobile safety course approved by the Commissioner.