NH ATV Rules and Regulations

Bear Rock Adventures supports safe, responsible, considerate driving.

Our main priority is safety and we strictly enforce NH Rules and Regulations.

New Hampshire ATV Rules and Regulations

You Must:

  • display headlights and tail lights when operating an OHRV a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise.
  • have brakes capable of stopping the vehicle within 40 feet at 20 MPH
  • yield to pedestrians, horseback riders, and all other trail users. Our trails are multi-use so drive responsibly.
  • stop when requested to do so by an official or landowner
  • properly display registration decals
  • carry a valid registration certificate
  • carry a valid drivers license or an approved OHRV safety certificate
  • come to a complete stop at the shoulder of a road before crossing
  • yield to all traffic on a roadway
  • when crossing a roadway do so at a 90 degree angle
  • maintain a reasonable and prudent speed at all times
Adhere to the following speed limits:
10 MPH
  • within 150 feet of a fishing hole
  • on sidewalks that are open to OHRVs
  • on bridges that are posted open to OHRVs
  • at trail junctions, in parking lots and when passing trail grooming equipment
20 MPH
  • on approved roads open to OHRV use
  • on plowed roads on Department of Resources and Economic Development property
25 MPH
  • when posted on trails owned or leased by Deptartment of Resources and Economic Development
35 MPH
  • on all trail connectors
  • at night on Back Lake Road in Pittsburg, NH
  • on all trails where no speed limit is posted
It is unlawful to:
  • operate an OHRV on property of another without written permission from the landowner
  • operate so as to endanger any person or damage property
  • operate on rail road tracks or within the rail road right of way unless posted as a trail
  • operate on airports, airport runways or cemeteries
  • operate on any road or within the right of way except where authorized or posted
  • chase or harass wildlife
  • operate on town roads or sidewalks unless posted open to OHRV traffic
  • operate on or across any highway bridge unless posted open to OHRV traffic
  • operate while drivers license is under suspension or revocation in NH or any other state or canadian province
  • skim across open water
Fines and Penalties
When a person breaks the law, they may be given a summons to appear in court or a ticket. Most laws are “violations,” which may carry a penalty of up to $1,000. A few statutes are “misdemeanors” which are punishable by higher fines and/or one year in jail. Misdemeanors include refusing to stop for a
police officer, unauthorized use (stealing), removing or defacing signs, and a second offense for operating on railroad tracks, cemeteries or airports or for offenses for operating while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Some offenses carry a requirement to attend a Responsible Rider Safety course.
Any offense that occurs within a public right-of-way can be considered a motor vehicle offense and motor vehicle laws may apply. These may impact a person’s driver’s license privileges.
A registration can be revoked for breaking the law. If the vehicle is involved in an offense, the registered owner may be held liable.
When a person under 16 years old breaks the law, the officer can have the vehicle towed and impounded for up to 24 hours. A summons may also be issued. If an adult has knowledge that a child under the age of 16 was operating the vehicle illegally, the adult may be liable for the actions of the child.
Sound Levels and Tests:
Loud  OHRVs are a primary cause of complaints from landowners and other trail users. All operators are encouraged to ride quiet vehicles. It is illegal to modify an exhaust system in any way that increases the noise level from that of the original muffler.
  •  trail bikes and ATVs cannot emit noise levels that exceed 96 decibels
  • OHRVs designed for “closed course competition” may only be used at approved OHRV competitions, unless the OHRV is modified to meet all equipment requirements including muffler, spark arrestor and noise emissions
  • OHRV operators must submit to a sound level test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer
All motorized OHRVs (including trail bikes) operating in woodlands and that emit exhaust within 4 feet of the ground, must be equipped with a spark arrestor.
Every year in New Hampshire, many people are injured in OHRV or snowmobile crashes and collisions; some die. Accidents often can be avoided by practicing safe and responsible operation. Besides alcohol, common contributing factors include inattention, inexperience, operating at excessive speeds, riding on thin ice, operating in unfamiliar areas, and failing to wear protective equipment.
 Accidents Must Be Reported If:
  • anyone is injured or killed
  • property damage of over $500 occurs
A person who is involved in a reportable accident must:
  • stop and give name, address and registration number to others who were involved in the accident or whose property was damaged
  • report accident to nearest Police Station and file a report with Fish and Game within 5 days. Accident report form can be found at http://www.wildlife.state.nh.us/ohrv/index.html
All provisions of the New Hampshire Financial Responsibility law shall apply to an OHRV or snowmobile operated on a public highway. Any person who fails to report an accident involving death or personal injury shall be guilty of a Class B felony.
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