Maine’s ATV Market: More from A.T.V.Maine and Jim Lane

This is Part 2 in 5 Part Series from our talk with A.T.V.Maine President Jim Lane in late July. 

Did You Know?

  1. Relaxing on Maine's ATV trails from Northern Outdoors, June 2008There are 65,000 registered ATV machines in the state of Maine.
  2. You don’t need an ATV license but you do have to register your ATV machine if you ride in Maine. A portion of all registration fees go to Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife to oversee enforcement and investigate all accidents and complaints. Over $1.1 million goes to Maine’s Department of Conservation to help purchase lands, educate trail users, safety programs and fund trail  maintenance and improvements. Clubs apply for grants to do trail maintenance. These grants typically cover only a part of a Club’s total costs of maintaining trails, the rest is made up of volunteer time and local fundraising
  3. Kids under age 16 have to take an ATV safety course in order to operate an ATV machine by themselves. Otherwise, an adult must ride with a child at all times.
  4. The average age of an ATVer in Maine is 54 years of age!
  5. A.T.V.Maine maintains $2 million in liability insurance coverage for ATV member Clubs and Landowners
  6. Each club gets up to $400,000 per event liability coverage, through their dues to A.T.V.Maine. Landowners are similarly protected with A.T.V.Maine liability insurance. The state of Maine maintains liability coverage for landowners at $400,000 per event, not to exceed $1.2MM per year. Landowners who participate and allow trails on their land are covered under this insurance. If a lawsuit was to develop by an ATV rider, that suit would have to be against the state of Maine. The landowner cannot even be named.  (In fact, says Jim, it has always been the ATVers who have been in the wrong, if they are riding off trails)  This agreement allows the club that has signed and maintained this trail, to act in the landowners behalf against the illegal riders and can file a complaint and then have the riders summoned to court, without having the landowner’s named. The club polices the trails and protects the landowners, it is not up to the landowner to do his or her own policing.
  7. Clubs sign a contract with each individual landowner about trail use on their lands, with the state of Maine backing each contract for registered official ATV Clubs.
  8. All ATV machines have Spark Arrestors: By law all ATV machines have to have a spark arrestor and are manufactured with them. The only way for there not to be one is if the muffler system has been altered post-purchase, by a consumer. There is a misleading USFS ad that ran this summer alleging that  ATVs cause wildfires through sparks, but in fact this is not the case.

More information from “Captain Jim” coming up from the newest Maine ATV Trails & Resort: Northern Outdoors.