The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that has been passed or is being considered at the state, county and city levels since October 2016. Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:
- Many of the ordinances cover the use of UTVs and ATVs on public roads while others also involve golf cars or sole involve golf cars. Few involve LSVs or NEVs.
- In many instances the impetus for the regulations started with local residents approaching local council members or city managers.
- Regulatory activity is happening primarily at the town or city level, but there is some action at the county level as well.
- The regulations are a mix of those restricting on road use of ATVs, UTVs and golf cars and those allowing the use of these vehicles.
Chillicothe, IL – The Public Safety Committee agreed to send an ordinance prohibiting the use of UTVs on local roads after numerous calls from residents against an initial ordinance allowing the vehicles. Golf cars are still allowed.
Solon, IA – City Council voted against an ordinance that would allow UTVs on some city streets. Concerns were raised about safety given the size and speed of the vehicles and the fact that the city has no police officers of its’ own to enforce the ordinance. The city has allowed golf cars on certain streets since 2011.
Jefferson, WI – The city council unanimously approved an ordinance allowing NEVs on city streets with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less. The ordinance pertains to vehicles that conform to NHTSA LSV standards.
Panorama Village, TX – The city approved a golf car registration ordinance to ensure that residents are following regulations regarding use of golf cars on city streets.
Gulf Breeze, FL – The city council is considering strengthening golf car regulations for street use because of concerns with unsafe golf cart operations including use by children and teenagers, use on pedestrian sidewalks, use on high-traffic streets, excessive occupant loads and use at night with no headlights.
Louisa County, IA – The board of supervisors approved an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs on secondary roads in the county.
Barry County, MI – The Board of Commissioners approved an ordinance that opens non-highway roads to off-road vehicles (quads, ATVs, dirt bikes and UTVs) with a speed limit of 25 mph, but bars the vehicles from city and village streets and state roads. It also increases fines for unauthorized use of the vehicles from $60 to $250, with a portion of the revenue set aside for road repairs.
Gardner, WI – Urged by residents, the town board is considering allowing ATVs and UTVs on local and county roads in town. Vehicle users want to establish a trail to connect with neighboring towns that allow the vehicles.
Wadena, MN – The city passed ordinance that will allow permitted use of ATVs, UTVs, golf cars and other types of vehicles that are used for snow removal or other uses in the city. They are also working on an ordinance for recreational use of these same vehicles.
Jacksonville, IL – The City Council is working on an ordinance to allow street legal gof cars and utility vehicles on city roads. Drivers are required to have a valid license, carry mandatory liability insurance, pay a $75 permit fee and be at least 18 years old. Vehicles must have a review mirror, warning devices, seat belts, taillights, brake lights and turn signals.
Delaware County, IA – Delaware County officials are exploring the possibility of allowing all-terrain vehicles on county roads. A group of local ATV enthusiasts recently asked county supervisors to open county routes to the vehicles, as well as utility vehicles. The 100 members of Roads to Trails say there are limited options locally to use the vehicles.
Danville, IL – Danville Township passed an ordinance allowing people to use golf cars and UTVs on township roads after the vehicle has been inspected and an annual $25 fee has been paid.
Fayette County, IL – The County Board did not approve an ordinance allowing low speed vehicles on rural roads in the county. The ordinance pertained to ATVs, UTVs and golf cars.
Panama City Beach, FL – The council directed the city’s legal team to craft an ordinance that will put a moratorium on the registration of any new vehicles — essentially golf carts — until the board decides how to limit the number on the road. The city reports 194 rental vehicles are registered with the city compared to 93 the year before. The city is concerned with the large number of such vehicles on the roads and has already limited the number of scooters used.
Silver City, NM – Silver City is considering allowing ATVs and UTVs on city streets. In their 2016 session, the New Mexico Legislature passed a law allowing ATV use on paved roads in the state, subject to local government approval and stipulations. Any municipality that wishes to adopt this rule has the right to do so, and can also restrict ATV use on their roads in the ways they wish — including establishing separate speed limits for the vehicles.