The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a far-reaching ordinance to control the crisis of ORV abuse in the state’s largest county. Residents from all over San Bernardino representing dozens of community groups were virtually unopposed as they testified about the need to stop the epidemic of illegal and irresponsible activity such as trespass, harassment, property destruction, noise, dust and the damage to public lands/wilderness. Some of the supervisors, while expressing support for the measure, inquired into other provisions that would require visible license plates and other forms of identification and the confiscation of vehicles involved in repeated violations. ORVs involved in an alarming number of accidents involving children.
The new ordinance will provide law enforcement with the tools to crack down on illegal riders including:
- A process by which residents can seek judicial relief from nuisance and harassment
- A requirement that ORV stagings (unofficial large scale events) obtain a special use permit — which can be challenged by local residents
- Riders must carry written permission on their person to ride on private property not their own
- Strict limits on noise at the tailpipe
- The ordinance can be enforced by both code enforcement and the Sheriff’s department
The ordinance was the result of community action, dedicated volunteers and a stakeholder process that negotiated a fair and effective law. The supervisors have yet to identify the funds to be used to provide for four new positions for county code enforcement and will be discussing the issue in their budget proposal process in the next two months. The ordinance became law July 1, 2006.