Low OHV Decal compliance numbers unacceptable

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October 26th, 2009

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is reinforcing earlier efforts to get all OHV owners in the state to take part in the new OHV Decal program that went into effect Jan. 1, 2009. As the department has been promoting for the last year, all Arizona OHVs that are primarily designed by the manufacturer for use over unimproved terrain and have an unladen weight of 1800 pounds or less are required by Arizona Revised Statute to display an OHV Decal.

In the latest report from the Arizona Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), only about 21 percent of all eligible OHVs and OHV owners are taking part in the new program.

“Twenty-one percent is well below the projected participation rate and is disappointing considering the value of this new program,” said Larry Voyles, director of the Arizona Game and Fish Department. “This user play, user pay program will provide the resources needed to promote safe and responsible OHV use, ultimately providing the tools to help ensure access.”

The benefits of the OHV Decal program include information and education efforts, facility development and maintenance, maps, signage and increased enforcement.

The Arizona Game and Fish Department is currently hiring seven law enforcement officers that will focus their efforts on OHV-specific issues across the state.

“Revenue from the OHV Decal program is what is allowing the department to hire these seven new OHV officers,” said Joe Sacco, Arizona Game and Fish Department OHV program coordinator. “In just about every OHV-related public meeting held over the last four years building the legislation, law enforcement was one of the areas in which the OHV community asked for increased resources to help ensure access. The OHV Decal program was created to help provide these resources. Compliance is critical for this program to be successful and for the future of OHV use in Arizona.”

Other projects that are being funded through the OHV Decal program include the new OHV Laws and Places to Ride booklet that is an ongoing joint venture between Arizona State Parks and the Game and Fish Department. A continued grant program to help clean up and restore riding areas and new informational outreach items like riding area maps will be created in the future.

The OHV Decal costs $25 and is good for one year from the date of purchase. It can be obtained at any MVD office, MVD third-party service provider, or online at www.servicearizona.com.

For more information about the OHV Decal program or OHV use in Arizona, go online to www.azgfd.gov/ohv

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