Motor and Other Vehicles

CHAPTER 31-3.2
Snowmobiles and Recreational Vehicles

SECTION 31-3.2-7

§ 31-3.2-7. Operation.

Operation on streets and highways.

(a)(1) No person shall operate a snowmobile or recreational vehicle upon the roadway shoulder, on the inside bank or slope on any highway in this state, or elsewhere within the right of way, except as provided in this chapter. No snowmobile or recreational vehicle shall be operated at any time within the right of way of any interstate highway or freeway within this state.

(2) A snowmobile or recreational vehicle may make a direct crossing of a street or highway at any hour of the day provided:

(i) The crossing is made at an angle of approximately ninety degrees (90°) to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing;

(ii) The snowmobile or recreational vehicle is brought to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or main traveled way of the highway;

(iii) The driver yields the right of way to all oncoming traffic which constitutes an immediate hazard;

(iv) In crossing a divided highway the crossing is made only at an intersection of the highway, with another public street or highway; and

(v) If the crossing is made between the hours of one-half ( 1 / 2 ) hour after sunset to one-half ( 1 / 2 ) hour before sunrise or in conditions of reduced visibility, only if both front and rear lights are on.

(3) No snowmobile or recreational vehicle shall be operated upon a public street or highway unless it is equipped with at least one head lamp and one tail lamp, each of minimum candlepower as prescribed by regulations of the director; reflector material of a minimum area of sixteen (16) square inches mounted on each side forward of the handlebars; and with brakes. All of these shall conform to standards prescribed by rule of the director.

(4) A snowmobile or recreational vehicle may be operated upon a public street or highway other than as provided by subsection (a)(2) in an emergency during the period of time when and at locations where snow upon the roadway renders travel by automobile impractical.

(i) International contests, use of highways, etc. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the use of snowmobiles or recreational vehicles within the right of way of any highway or upon public lands or waters under the jurisdiction of the director of environmental management in any international contest, subject to the consent of the official or board having jurisdiction over the highway or public lands or waters.

(ii) Operation generally. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any snowmobile or recreational vehicles in the following unsafe or harassing ways:

(A) At a rate of speed greater than reasonable or proper under all the surrounding circumstances;

(B) In a careless, reckless or negligent manner so as to endanger the person or property of another or to cause injury or damage to it;

(C) While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotics, or habit-forming drugs;

(D) Without a lighted head light and tail light when required for safety;

(E) In any tree nursery or planting in a manner which damages or destroys growing stock; or

(F) Without the operator and passengers wearing a helmet equipped with a face guard of a type approved by the administrator of the division of motor vehicles.

(b) The provisions of §§ 31-27-2 and 31-27-2.1 relating to weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood and its admission as evidence shall apply to subparagraph (C) of this paragraph.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any snowmobile or other motorized recreational vehicle upon any above-ground reservoir property of the Woonsocket reservoir in the towns of North Smithfield, Lincoln, and Smithfield, and in the city of Woonsocket. Any person who shall violate the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a civil violation and be punished by a fine of not more than fifty dollars ($50.00) for the first offense and by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100) for any subsequent offense.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1971, ch. 117, § 1; P.L. 1974, ch. 67, § 1; P.L. 1974, ch. 80, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 218, art. 6, § 2.)