Laws Enforced at Glamis

Jan. 01, 2002 By ORC STAFF
Imperial County Sheriffs Office, Bureau of Land Management Rangers enforce all laws.


ORC Staff


Glamis Sand Dunes, Southern California- The increasing enforcement of previously non-enforced laws has erupted in the desert community of Imperial County, California. Prior to the eco-nazis having their day with pushover law makers, it wasn't often that you ever saw a law enforcement officer actually in the dunes. Yes, occasionally they had to venture inwards to deep sandy bowls to investigate a tragic accident or deal with a situation, but as the crowds envelope the restricted areas as of recent times, law enforcement is clamping down with a vengeance. Whether you're on an off-road vehicle or driving your Ford F350 4WD, you can be sought out and stopped by law enforcement. Over the recent holiday weekend, many law enforcement and government agencies were involved in the concerted effort to put a stop to the alleged lawlessness at the Glamis Sand Dunes.

LAW DOGS: Perusing the dunes 24/7, the law dogs of the task force had over 700 law enforcement actions with Glamis Duners over the Thanksgiving Weekend. At time of this publication, it was unknown how many actions occurred over the Christmas Holiday week.

The Imperial County Sheriffs Office led the consortium of agencies which included law enforcement and support personnel from the California Highway Patrol, U.S. Forest Service, California Department of Forestry, U.S. Border Patrol, Imperial County Sheriffs, San Diego County Sheriffs Department, the Coachella Valley Law Enforcement Coalition, National Parks Service, California Dept. of State Parks and Recreation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, California State Bureau of Narcotics, Yuma Rural Metro Fire and Ambulance, California Conservation Corps, and the Bureau of Land Management.

Law enforcement managers in the Imperial Sand Dunes have replicated the enforcement actions utilized at the Colorado River area over the past seven years. As the Colorado River area became inudated with more and more people, they sought the local and federal regulators to put closures and restrictions on certain areas. For example, in the days of yesteryear, it was unheard of to close the sandbar at Lake Havasu. Nowadays, each spring and summer, local, state and federal law enforcement officers step in to enforce regulated closures at these popular locations. Of course, they claim the surge in popularity and ongoing problems with certain groups of people is what has led to these restrictions. But, regardless of where you go or what you discover, problems in society will forever be present.

The Imperial County Board of Supervisors passed an ordinance (no.1359) placing a sundown to sunrise curfew at Competition Hill, which was initiated on Thanksgiving Weekend for the first time ever. Officials claim the curfew was in the interest of safety for visitors and law enforcement officials. The curfew began Thanksgiving evening and ran through Saturday night and will remain in effect for holiday weekends only. The ordinance states that Competition Hill has become a major site for lawlessness, violence and drug use, especially at night, creating serious safety risks to law enforcement personnel and the general public. And to add to this ordinance, the law enforcement team included Oldsmobile Hill, which was a surprise to many. With the increase of law enforcement agencies involved in the overall effort, all the big toys were brought out including helicopters and military style off-road vehicles. The task force reported 170,000 visitors to the dunes and reported 780 law enforcement actions during the weekend. Medical responses were reported at approximately 170 incidents.

Now that this similar enforcement action is being taken at the Imperial Sand Dunes, it's time for those playing in the area to know the laws and protect yourself and your checkbook. Recently, the law enforcement officers at Glamis have stepped up enforcement on many previously unenforced laws and regulations. If you're churning up the sand at Glamis or one of the many off-roading areas in the desert, BEWARE.

Even flying high in the sky, you still have to have proof of insurance. Flight insurance perhaps???
Old Glory parades the dunes regularly in search of Bin Laden. God help him if a crowd of Glamis studs find him there.
Just more fun in the sun. On a rather calm day, the hill is rather calm as everyone seems to be under control.
Boys will be boys. Checking out the competition and having a refreshment, these Glamis Duners are chllin'.

ORC staffers were informed by the riding public at the dunes that law enforcement officers were vigorously citing persons for anything and everything in order to make a strong presence shown. For example, with all the law enforcement agencies involved in the holiday weekend task force, they had to prove to government officials that, in fact, this was necessary. To further prove their point, many Glamis dunes riders were targeted and cited for violations that have never been enforced previously. One violation that was continually cited was California Vehicle Code Section 16020(a) Proof of Liability Insurance. This vehicle code section states the following:

CVC 16020(a) Every driver and every owner of a motor vehicle shall at all times be able to establish financial responsibility pursuant to
Section 16021, and shall at all times carry in the vehicle evidence
of the form of financial responsibility in effect for the vehicle.

Now we know that 95% of you Glamis dune riders do not carry liability insurance on your quads, motorcycles, and off-road vehicles. But, beware that you can and will be cited and fined pursuant this obscure California law. This law was created for enforcement utilization on the streets of California because of the "cheaters" who failed to obtain vehicle liability insurance when this law took effect. However, most recently this law has hit the dune riding community rather hard. Generally, the law enforcement officer will conduct a traffic stop on you and your vehicle for a particular vehicle code violation such as unsafe speed, no visible green sticker, no light, no flag, etc. Whether or not you were actually in violation of the allegation made by the officer, he/she has the legal right to request identification and registration on the vehicle you're operating. And of late, they are requesting to see proof of liability insurance. Once they determine you don't have liability insurance, it's an easy citation for them regardless whether or not they cite you for the violation they stopped you for. So it's a lose-lose for you and a win-win for them. Be aware of the need to carry liability insurance.

Over the holiday, an ORC staffer was stopped and cited for this violation while riding his quad in the dunes. Shocked and surprised by the revelation, he ended up with a citation as documented above. BEWARE FRIENDS!!!

MISTAKEN FOR MILITARY ASSAULT VEHICLE: Rumor has it the National Guard and US Border Patrol officers were roaming the dunes in the Chenwoth Military Assault off-road vehicle. Perhaps this bad ass ride was mistaken for military men. Nevertheless, all black and hauling ass was the story of this truck.

INSURANCE- Research by the ORC staff has determined that not many insurance companies in California are interested in writing liability insurance on any off-road vehicles let alone quads, three-wheelers, off-road motorcycles and buggies. It's almost a joke when we called around searching out for an insurance company that would write the liability insurance policy. But intense research by staffers discovered a well known company that currently writes liability insurance for all vehicles including quads, three-wheelers, motos, buggies and everything in between. The McGraw Insurances Services Group is familiar with writing liability insurance for personal watercraft and have a strong presence in the personal watercraft industry, so it's no surprise they deal with the active lifestyle client on a regular basis.

GLAMIS FUN ZONE:With everything available on the Holiday Weekends at Vendor's Row, you can pretty much arrive to Glamis with just a pair of shorts and your wallet and easily survive. Breakfast, lunch and dinner, toys, accessories, girls and boys, it's all here. Glamis rocks.

WANTED DEAD OR ALIVE:ORC staffers were sure this guy was wanted dead or alive. His profile matched the photo on his shirt and perhaps his sunglasses were to disguised his Arab looking beady eyes. Is this Bin Laden? If so, I'm sure he failed to survive the onslaught of rebels.

Pacific Specialty Insurance Company (PSIC) - flagship of the McGraw Group of Affiliated Companies - is recognized as an industry leader in motorcycle and personal watercraft coverage. PSIC also offers automotive, homeowners, boat, motorhome, mobile home and commercial products, and has become the "one spot" independent brokers and agents can source all their clients' coverage needs.

Founded in 1976, McGraw Insurance Services is a managing general agent, surplus lines broker, Lloyds correspondent and the exclusive affiliated program administrator of Pacific Specialty Insurance Company. Best known as one of the nation's largest writers of personal watercraft insurance, McGraw is also one of the largest writers of motorcycle insurance in the western United States.

ORC recently had conversations with McGraw Insurance Services advising them of the recent crack down on recreational vehicles without liability insurance and they advised they are willing and ready to assist all duners with any assistance they need in obtaining insurance. You can visit McGraw Insurance Services at

For More Information on the Glamis Sand Dunes visit

Glamis Online

McGraw Insurance Services

Northern California
3601 Haven Ave., Menlo Park, CA 94025
tel: 800-828-3003 or 650-780-4800 fax: 650-780-4848

Southern California
P.O. Box 40, Anaheim, CA 92815
tel: 800-303-5000 or 714-998-2190 fax: 714-998-3158

Contact Us Newsletter
Join our Weekly Newsletter to get the latest off-road news, reviews, events, and alerts!