Resolution & Proxy Voting Form
ATV Helmet Exemption for Sportsmen/women Proposal
To be voted on September 16, 2017
Due to the timing of this proposal, it will be presented as an “Unpublished Resolution” from the floor by the Member at Large. As per the bylaws, a resolution from the floor requires a 2/3rds vote from the delegates to allow it to be brought to the floor for consideration. So the first vote will be as to whether it will be allowed to be presented. The second vote will be on the resolution itself.
Details of Resolution:
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO PA VEHICLE CODE:
“No helmet to be required while hunting”
Helmet use, without exception, is mandatory while operating or riding as a passenger in or on an ATV as specified in PA Code 77 ~ 7726 (5.). In Pennsylvania ATVs are classified as Class I or Class II by weight. Most side-by-side UTVs fall into the Class II ATV category. A new federal class of vehicles, Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs), are also emerging. LSVs have more passenger safety features than ATVs.
ATV/UTV/LSV use while hunting is becoming more common, especially on private land and where permitted by disabled hunters, trappers and fishermen. Their use is now permitted in gun dog Hunt Tests and Field Trials by judges, bird wranglers and disabled handlers.
Although the use of a helmet is required; PGC WCO’s and PF&BC Fish Warden’s do not enforce this statute. However, it would be in everyone’s best interest to exempt mandatory helmet use by sportsmen and make it optional, rather than leave enforcement on a discretionary basis. State Police, local police, PA DCNR Rangers, and USFS Rangers may not be so forgiving. Many other states have already done this. The proposed amendments are modeled after other state amendments such as in Michigan.
Hunting while wearing a helmet is cumbersome, costly, unnecessary and may be unsafe:
– While handling a gun dog, alighting from the vehicle, it is impossible to shoulder and aim a shotgun with current civilian helmets worn. One would need to either take the time to remove the helmet and don the required orange hunting cap or purchase a military style helmet. This extra time may cause loss of control of the gun dog, loss of point by the gun dog and lead to hurried and unsafe gun handling. Note that in this situation a disabled hunter is already required to turn OFF the vehicle ignition, place the vehicle in PARK, un-rack the shotgun, dismount the vehicle and load the shot gun.
– An orange military style helmet would need to be purchased to comply with PGC requirements. The only one available is used by the US Coast Guard. These cost more than $1,000.00.
– When the vehicle is operated under 10 M.P.H and in a safe manner, as required by PGC and PF&BC regulations, helmet use is unnecessary. Note that the PA Code already exempts on-road motorcycle operators and passengers from helmet use on vehicles that operate up to 70 M.P.H. on PA interstates.
– Enacting the helmet exemption would allow sportsmen to be confidently legal in the pursuit of their sport.
Clubs: Use the Proxy Form, send it with your club delegate or county delegate to cast your proxy vote.
Individual Members: Contact Member at Large to express your opinions on how she should cast her proxy vote.
State Orgs: Let your delegate know how they should cast their proxy vote.