The purpose of this chapter shall be to set standards for the operation of motor-driven off-road vehicles within the township so as to improve standards of safety as well as to minimize the impact of operation of such vehicles on residents of the township, the public at large, and the environment.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- OFF-ROAD VEHICLE
- Shall mean a motor-driven vehicle designed primarily for transportation of the driver, including minibikes, trail bikes, unlicensed motorcycles, motor scooter, motor-bikes, go-carts, dune buggies, all-terrain vehicles, or other recreational vehicles designed primarily for transportation of the driver on other than the public or private roadway. This chapter shall not apply to lawn mowers, tractors, farm, lawn, garden or similar equipment when used for purposes for which they were designed. Vehicles required to be registered under Title 39, Motor Vehicles, of the New Jersey Statutes shall be regulated by that statute and are specifically exempted from registration under this chapter.
Any person who shall own an off-road vehicle, as defined in sub section 3B-2.1, and who intends to use same or to permit same to be used within the boundaries of the township shall, prior to such operation, register such vehicle with the township police department. A person wishing to register an off-road vehicle shall complete an application upon forms furnished by the township police department which application shall include, but is not limited to the following information: the name and address of the registrant, the name and address of the owner and, where applicable, the year, make, type, model, color, horsepower and serial number of the vehicle being registered. In the case of a registrant under 18 years of age, a letter from his or her parent or guardian must accompany the application, giving the parent or guardian's name and address, his or her consent to the registration and his or her agreement of responsibility for the operation of said vehicle according to the terms of this chapter. Each registrant shall pay a fee of $3 which shall be used to defray the costs of registration and identification sticker. Upon acceptance of the application and fee, the township police department shall issue an identification sticker bearing the registration number and date of issue, which sticker shall be prominently and clearly displayed on the vehicle and maintained in a legible condition. The registrant shall also be given a copy of this chapter and, in the case of registrants under 18, a copy shall be sent to the parent or guardian who has signed the consent letter described above.
The initial registration period shall commence upon the effective date of this chapter and it is intended that all owners shall have registered the vehicles and complied with this chapter not later than three months thereafter. Subsequent to said date individuals acquiring such vehicles shall have 10 days from the effective date of such acquisition within which to register said vehicles. Thereafter, the registration shall be renewed annually prior to the last day of the month in which the original registration was issued. A renewal fee of $2 shall be paid at that time.
In the event ownership of the vehicle is transferred, the new owner shall register said vehicle pursuant to the terms of subsection 3B-3.1 above, within 10 days of effective ownership.
In the event the identification sticker is lost or becomes illegible, a replacement shall be obtained within 10 days from the Warren Township Police Department upon payment of a replacement fee of $1.
In the event a registered owner sells or otherwise disposes of a registered vehicle and obtains another vehicle, he may transfer his registration to the replacement vehicle for a transfer fee of $1.
No registration shall be required to operate an off-road vehicle on private property when vehicle is operated exclusively on private property by either the owner of the property, a resident of the property, or any person who permanently resides with the owner of the property.
It shall be unlawful to operate any off-road vehicle within the township under the following circumstances:
On the private property of another person or party, unless the operator of the vehicle has express written permission of the owner or legal occupant of the property to operate the vehicle thereon. Such permission shall be in writing and shall be exhibited to police officers on request or furnished to the police department within 48 hours.
On any public street, sidewalk, or bike path within the township unless the operator is fully dismounted.
On public grounds unless permission for operation of such vehicles on the grounds has been specifically given by the proper public authority.
Without any muffler device or, in case of vehicles with two-cycle engines, without any spark arrestor, or in violation of noise standards described in section 3B-5.
In a manner creating loud or unusual noise so as to disturb or interfere with the peace and quiet of other persons.
It shall be unlawful for the registrant, owner, or person having control or custody of an off-road vehicle to allow or enable the registered vehicle to be used or operated by another in violation of subsection 3B-4.1.
Where a vehicle is operated in violation of this chapter, it shall be presumed that the registrant or, in the case of registrant under 18, the parent or guardian of the registrant enabled the vehicle to be so operated.
It shall be unlawful for any off-road vehicle to be operated within the township which produces a maximum noise greater than 100 decibels measured at a distance of 0.5 meters (20 inches) from 45° behind (when measured from the normal line of travel of the vehicle) and in the horizontal plane of the rear-most exhaust outlet.
Passage of a noise measurement test may be required at time of registration of any off-road vehicle or by a police officer investigating a potential violation of this standard.
The following procedure shall be utilized in conducting a measurement test:
The vehicle shall be tested in a flat, open area, free of large sound-reflecting objects within six meters (18 feet) of the vehicle and free of deep snow, plowed ground or grass higher than 15 centimeters (six inches).
The sound level mete must meet or exceed the requirements of ANSI S1.4-1971, Type 2 sound level meter, set for "fast or slow" response and for the A-weighting network.
Ambient (background) noise shall be at least seven decibels lower than that of the vehicle being tested.
The vehicle's engine shall be run with the gear-box in neutral at a speed equal to one-half of the manufacturer's recommended maximum engine speed (red line). If no red line is available at the time of such test for the particular engine, the engine shall be run at 60% of the speed at which maximum horsepower is developed or at 50% of full throttle, as determined by a tachometer.
It is the intent of the township to periodically reevaluate this noise standard and, if it is determined to be inappropriate to adjust said standard and/or procedures to reflect advances in technology.
For registrants 18 years of age or over, violation of the provisions of this chapter shall upon conviction thereof be punishable by a fine of not more than $200 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a term of up to 30 days, or both. In the case of violations for operation of the off-road vehicle in violation of section 3B-3, the township police department may, in addition to issuing a summons, also immediately confiscate the off-road vehicle used or operated in violation of this chapter. The vehicle shall be returned to the registrant upon completion of registration as set forth in section 3B-3 and upon payment of any towing or removal costs.
In the event that the provisions of this chapter are violated by an operator or a registered owner of the vehicle who is at the time of such violation under the age of 18, such violation shall result in the following:
For the first violation, the operator shall be warned by the police and a letter shall be sent to the registrant and separately to the parent or guardian signing the consent letter for the registrant; the letter shall state the offense and describe the penalties for violation. A copy of this chapter shall be included with the letter to the parent or guardian.
Upon second or subsequent conviction for violation of this chapter by the same registrant (or involving the same vehicle) the court may order confiscation of the vehicle in question by the police department for a period not to exceed 90 days for each violation.