Municipality of Murrysville, PA
Westmoreland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Municipality of Murrysville 10-3-1988 by Ord. No. 222-88. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 157.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 199.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 210.

§ 212-1 Title.

This chapter shall hereafter be known and cited as the "Recreational Vehicle Regulation Ordinance of the Municipality of Murrysville."

§ 212-2 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to regulate and control the operation and use of recreational vehicles within said Municipality for the protection of the health, safety, privacy and general welfare of the residents, property owners, visitors and others within said Municipality.

§ 212-3 Definitions.

The following terms, when used in this chapter, shall have the following meanings:
BERM or SHOULDER
The portion of roadway that is not used for travel, but is the cleared portion on each side of the roadway which is cleared and maintained to the boundary on each side of the roadway and used for emergency purposes and the safety of vehicular traffic.
DEALER
Any person engaged in the sale, lease or rental of motorized, combustion-driven all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorcycles, motor bikes, dirt bikes, three-wheelers, cars, trucks and any other type of recreational vehicles and snowmobiles as a regular business.
HIGHWAY or STREET
The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained where any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
OPERATE
To ride in or on or to be in actual physical control of the operation of a recreational vehicle.
OPERATOR
Any person who operates or is in actual physical control of a recreational vehicle described in this chapter.
OWNER
Any of the following:
A. 
A person who holds the legal title to a recreational vehicle described in this chapter.
B. 
A vendee or lessee of a recreational vehicle described in this chapter which is the subject of an agreement for the conditional sale or lease thereof, with the right of purchase upon performance of the conditions stated in the agreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditional vendee or lessee.
PERSON
An individual, partnership, corporation, the commonwealth or any of its agencies or subdivisions and any body or persons, whether incorporated or not.
PRIVATE PROPERTY
Real property used for farming or other use or real property by private persons not for public use.
RECREATIONAL VEHICLE
Motorized, combustion-driven all-terrain vehicles, four-wheel-drive vehicles, motorcycles, dirt bikes, motor bikes, three-wheelers, cars, snowmobiles, trucks and any other type of recreational vehicle or any type of motor-driven vehicle or any motor-driven vehicle designed for travel primarily on snow or ice of a type which utilizes sled-type runners or skis or any endless belt or any combination of these or other similar means of contact with the surface upon which it is operated. This shall not be construed to include properly licensed motor vehicles operated on the public highways, streets, roads and private driveways in accordance with the law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and shall not include golf carts or agricultural equipment used in the trade or business of the owner or by such owner's employees, family members or agents.
RIGHT-OF-WAY
Any privately owned driveway or driveway owned by various persons for purpose of access to their privately owned residence or property, or utility-owned, cleared parcels of land used for gas companies, electric companies or water authorities that have been kept clear and used for their purpose.
ROADWAY
That portion of a highway improved, designated or ordinarily used for vehicular travel. If a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term "roadway" refers to any such roadway separately, but not to all such roadways collectively.

§ 212-4 Registration required.

A. 
Prior to its operation within the Municipality of Murrysville, a recreational vehicle must be registered with the Municipality of Murrysville, and an application shall be completed by the recreational vehicle owner and filed with the Municipality of Murrysville at the Murrysville Municipal Building, which application shall provide the following:
(1) 
The name of the owner.
(2) 
The address of the owner.
(3) 
The telephone number of the owner.
(4) 
A description of the vehicle.
(5) 
The manufacturer's serial number of the vehicle.
(6) 
Proof of ownership of the vehicle unless the application is filed within 60 days from the date of passage of this chapter.
(7) 
A registration fee of $15.
(8) 
Any other information required by the Municipality of Murrysville on the application form provided.
B. 
The Municipality shall issue a certificate or registration label (hereinafter also called "decal") which shall be valid as long as the vehicle is owned by the applicant.
C. 
A stored vehicle which is not to be operated within the Municipality of Murrysville is exempt from the registration requirement in Subsection A.

§ 212-5 General regulations.

No person shall operate and no owner or dealer shall permit the operation of recreational vehicles under the following conditions, circumstances or at the following locations:
A. 
Upon a public highway, land used as farm or play areas, private property or streets or on a public or private parking lot not specifically designed for the use of vehicles described in § 212-3, except under the following conditions and circumstances:
(1) 
The Municipality, any police officer or ordinance or law enforcement officer may authorize the use of such vehicles described in § 212-3 on a public highway or street when an emergency occurs and conventional motor vehicles cannot be used for transportation due to snow or other extreme highway conditions.
(2) 
A person may operate such vehicles described in § 212-3 on a highway for a special event or limited duration, conducted according to a prearranged schedule, if he or she first obtains a permit from the Municipality of Murrysville, which shall only be granted if the same can be operated in a safe, nondestructive manner and without thereby creating a nuisance or hazard to persons or property.
B. 
On private property not owned, leased or under the control of the operator unless the operator has the prior express written consent of the owner, lessee or other person in control of said property, except in case of an emergency when other means of travel are not feasible or possible.
C. 
On public school grounds, parks, playgrounds, recreational areas, golf courses and other public lands (other than commonwealth-owned lands where such operation is authorized by statute) without the prior express written consent of the public authority in charge of such lands or premises, except where such operation is absolutely necessary in an emergency when other means of travel are not feasible or possible.
D. 
While under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drugs, barbiturates or any derivative of a barbiturate.
E. 
During the hours from 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise, unless the vehicle has a current special permit issued pursuant to § 212-6.
F. 
In any natural dedicated area, forest, nursery, planting area or public lands posted or reasonably identifiable as an area of forest reproduction when growing stock may be damaged.
G. 
On the frozen surface of a public waters within 100 feet of a person, including but not limited to a skater, not in or upon a snowmobile or recreational vehicle or within 100 feet of a fishing shanty or shelter, except at the minimum speed or on an area which has been cleared of snow for skating purposes unless the area is necessary for access to the frozen public water.
H. 
Unless such vehicles described in § 212-3 of this chapter are equipped with the original manufacturer's stock silencer and spark arrester muffler or equivalent approved by the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, with a noise limit not to exceed that prescribed for such vehicles and without any modification thereof.
I. 
Within 150 feet of a dwelling at a speed greater than minimum required to maintain forward movement of the vehicle.
J. 
Within 1,000 feet of a dwelling unless the vehicle has been issued a special permit pursuant to § 212-6.
K. 
In or upon premises which are fenced or otherwise enclosed in a manner to exclude intruders upon private property posted in a conspicuous manner or when notice against trespass is personally communicated to the operator by the owner of the premises or other authorized persons.
L. 
In any area on which public hunting is permitted during the season open to the taking of deer with firearms from 7:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., except during an emergency for lawful enforcement purposes, to go to and from a permanent residence or a privately owned building or property otherwise inaccessible by conventional wheeled vehicles or for the conduct of necessary work functions involving land and timber survey, communication and transmission line patrol and timber harvest operation or on the operator's own property under his control or as an invited guest of an owner or person in control of said property.
M. 
While transporting a bow, unless unstrung, or a firearm, unless securely encased.
N. 
On or across a cemetery or burial ground.
O. 
Within 100 feet of a slide, ski or skating area, except for the purposes of servicing the area or for medical emergencies.
P. 
On a railroad track or railroad right-of-way, except for railroad, public utility or law enforcement personnel while in the performance of their duties. A railroad or a utility right-of-way may be crossed in a safe manner per instructions in § 212-12, Crossing rights-of-way.
Q. 
On a right-of-way not owned, leased or under the control of the operator, unless the operator has the prior express written consent of the owner, lessee or other person in control of said property, except in the case of an emergency when other means of travel are not feasible or possible.
R. 
Unless the operator and passenger(s) are wearing helmets of quality equal to that of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania standard for road use or the same quality required by racing authorities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
S. 
On a public road or highway for the purpose of testing said vehicle.
T. 
Unless such vehicle described in § 212-3 of this chapter has decals affixed thereto in conformity with § 212-10 of this chapter.

§ 212-6 Special permits.

A. 
An owner may request a waiver of § 212-5E and J of this chapter and obtain a special permit for operation of a vehicle during the hours 1/2 hour after sunset to 1/2 hour before sunrise or within 1,000 feet of a dwelling upon application filed with the Municipality of Murrysville at the Municipal Building, which application shall provide the information required in § 212-4A(1) through (8) of this chapter. The Municipality's issuance of a special permit is further subject to applicant's proof of and compliance with each of the following items:
(1) 
The vehicle shall display at time of application and at all times during operation under a special permit a lighted headlight and lighted taillight (§ 212-5E requirement).
(2) 
The vehicle shall display at the time of application, and at all times during operation under a special permit, the written consent [current within 30 days of the application] of the owner, lessee or other person in control of the property upon which the vehicle shall be operated. (§ 212-5E and J requirement).
(3) 
The vehicle shall display at the time of application, and at all times during operation under a special permit, the written consent [current within 30 days of the application] of the owner, lessee or other person in control of the dwelling within 1,000 feet of the proposed area of operation for said vehicle (§ 212-5J requirement).
(4) 
The owner's written certification that the vehicle shall not be operated within 1,000 feet of any dwelling for which he does not have the written consent of the owner, lessee or other person in control of the premises (§ 212-5J requirement).
(5) 
The vehicle is equipped with the original manufacturer's stock silencer and spark arrester muffler or equivalent approved by Federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations with a noise limit not to exceed that prescribed for such vehicles and without any modification thereof (§ 212-5E and J requirement).
(6) 
The vehicle has a valid registration issued under § 212-4 of this chapter.
B. 
A special permit shall be subject to revocation by the Chief Administrator upon the Municipality's receipt of a written objection from the owner or lessee of dwelling/property located within 1,000 feet of lands in the vehicle's zone of operation for which a special permit has been issued by the Municipality. The written objection shall represent that an owner/operator of the subject vehicle has not complied with one of the mandatory provisions of § 212-6A(1) through (5) of this chapter. A decision of the Chief Administrator revoking a special permit shall be subject to an appeal within 30 days of the date of said decision for review by the Council of the Municipality of Murrysville for reinstatement of the owner's special permit.
C. 
A special permit shall be valid for a period of 30 days.
D. 
No owner or the operator of a vehicle who has been the subject of two or more special permit revocation actions within a period of six months shall be issued a special permit for a period of one year from the date of the last special permit revocation.

§ 212-7 Invented vehicles.

Owners and operators of nonserial-numbered, powered recreational vehicles or invented vehicles, such as dune buggies, go-karts, etc., are also subject to the registration and regulations of this chapter and must provide engine serial number for registration. If the engine is replaced, then a new registration certificate must be secured. Owners and operators of invented vehicles are subject to the same mandates and limitations as covered in §§ 212-5 and 212-6 of this chapter with the following additional requirement: Owners and operators of invented vehicles shall equip the same with a stock silencer and spark arrester muffler or equivalent approved by Federal Environmental Protection Agency regulations for comparable vehicles with a noise limit not to exceed that prescribed for such vehicles and without any modifications thereof.

§ 212-8 Transfer of registration prohibited.

A. 
Under no circumstances is the transfer of a registration certificate from one vehicle to another permitted.
B. 
Registration shall be considered canceled upon a transfer of ownership, and the new owner must secure a new registration certificate.

§ 212-9 Lost or illegible registration label.

The responsibility for the legibility of a registration label on a registered vehicle is solely that of the operator of the registered vehicle. If a registration label or plate is discovered lost, damaged or defective, the operator of said vehicle must report this to the issuing authority within 24 hours, whereupon the issuing authority will furnish a new label at no charge upon demand at any time during the life of the vehicle. Operation of a registered vehicle without the registration label or with an illegible registration label is an offense and is considered a nonregistered vehicle unless the operator can prove identity and registration to an authorized investigating officer.

§ 212-10 Placement of decals and license plates.

A. 
Decals shall be placed, one on each side of the recreational vehicle, where they can be clearly visible from a ninety-degree angle and shall not be covered by the operator or passenger(s).
B. 
The license plate must be attached on the rear of the vehicle or per special instructions by the issuing authority. Vehicles operated 1/2 hour after sunset and 1/2 hour before sunrise must have a lighted license plate if a license plate is required.

§ 212-11 Exemptions; report of violation.

A. 
An authorized law enforcement officer may, in a reasonably safe and nondestructive manner, operate any type of registered or nonregistered recreational vehicle described in § 212-3 of this chapter, in the general performance of duty and surveillance, on public highways, on any private property and when in pursuit of a suspect, outside the limits of the Municipality of Murrysville.
B. 
Any operator of a registered or nonregistered recreational vehicle within the limits of the Municipality of Murrysville that witnesses or knows of any violations of this chapter or any other ordinance must report the matter immediately to the Municipality of Murrysville Police Department.

§ 212-12 Crossing rights-of-way.

No person operating any vehicle described in § 212-3 of this chapter, with the exception of emergencies or duly appointed law enforcement officers operating according to duty, may cross or operate a recreational vehicle on a roadway or highway except to cross in the following manner: The operator must approach the berm, shoulder or edge of the roadway or highway, wait until there is no other moving traffic that is normally using a roadway or highway for a reasonable distance in either direction, then proceed across the roadway or highway at the maximum safe speed. The operator may then proceed in one or the other direction only for a distance of not more than what is reasonable length that the operation can be conducted in a safe manner. This same procedure may be used to cross railroad and utility rights-of-way.

§ 212-13 Accidents and reports.

Whenever any recreational vehicle is involved in an accident resulting in loss of life, personal injury or damage to property, the operator shall stop and render appropriate and necessary assistance and give his or her name and address, the name and address of the owner of the recreational vehicle and the registration number to the injured person or property owner sustaining the damage. He must also report the accident to the Municipality of Murrysville Police Department as soon as he or she is physically able or have the same reported by another person.

§ 212-14 Enforcement.

A. 
Any police officer, peace officer or ordinance enforcement officer of the Municipality is authorized to issue nontraffic citations for violations of this chapter.
B. 
All operators of vehicles described in § 212-3 of this chapter must provide positive identification at all times. The vehicle registration label is considered positive identification, and any nonregistered vehicle operated in the Municipality of Murrysville is subject to impoundment unless the operator of such vehicle, upon the request of any authorized enforcement officer, can provide identity of some other means.
C. 
Any impounded vehicle may be redeemed by the owner thereof by pledging or posting a bond or bail in an amount sufficient to cover all costs and fines imposable upon conviction before a District Justice, together with any damages which may have arisen by the operation of the recreational vehicle in violation of this chapter or any other ordinance of the Municipality of Murrysville.
[Amended 12-16-1991 by Ord. No. 305-91]
D. 
An impoundment fee of $25, plus storage, plus towing or hauling costs, must be paid in addition to the bail or bond provided hereinabove.

§ 212-15 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any violation of this chapter shall constitute a summary offense, and any person, firm or corporation found guilty of such violation shall be fined as follows:
(1) 
For the first offense: up to $25 or a warning by the arresting officer.
(2) 
For the second offense: $50.
(3) 
For the third offense: $100.
(4) 
For the fourth offense and each offense thereafter: $300.
B. 
Each day that a violation continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense. Any person guilty of a violation of this chapter shall also be subject to civil proceedings for damages and/or injunctive relief by the property owner, firm or corporation injured or damaged by such violations.
C. 
Both criminal and civil proceedings may be commenced against a person violating this chapter, and commencement of any such proceedings shall not constitute an election of remedies preventing the commencement of the proceedings against such violator.
D. 
The burden of proof is on the defendant to prove he or she had permission to ride a recreational vehicle upon any property except his or her own property.