Road Use Regulations Roundup – November, 2011

Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:

  • A lot of action the past few months on ordinances allowing ATVs, UTVs, mini-trucks and modified and sometimes un-modified golf cars on public roads.  While some concerns about safety still persist, we may be looking at an expansion of the type of small, task-oriented vehicles that are allowed on public roads.
  • With Nebraska passing a LSV law and Pennsylvania in the process of passing one, only Connecticut, Mississippi and Montana (no LSV but an MSV law) have not passed an LSV law.
  • Higher ordinance activity areas:  Minnesota which is usually active and Ohio which is a relative newcomer
  • Some more activity at the county level in the past few months

State Level Regulations

Pennsylvania – State House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that

“…authorizes travel in NEVs on roadways with a posted speed limit of no more than 25 mph and allows NEVs to cross roadways posted with a higher maximum speed. They can only be operated during daylight hours. NEVs will be required to be equipped with most basic safety equipment, such as brakes, mirrors, seatbelts, windshield and wipers, speedometer, odometer, headlamps, stop lamps, turn signals and reflectors, and a slow-moving vehicle emblem. In addition, NEV drivers must possess a valid license certificate of title, registration and insurance.”

The state is one of only a few that have not passed a LSV law yet.

Nebraska – The governor signed a law allowing NEVs/LSVs on low speed roads.  LSV owners will be required to have a valid operator’s license and liability insurance coverage. The vehicles will be subject to titling requirements, a registration fee of $15 and a new alternative fuel fee of $75 for vehicles using a source of energy not taxed under the motor fuel laws. The alternative fuel fee will replace the alternative fuel tax.

Louisiana – State legislature is debating allowing mini-trucks on public roads.

 Municipality Level Regulations

Wapello, IA – City council is discussing allowing golf cars and utility vehicles on city streets and receiving a mixed reaction from residents.

Sunman, IN – City council will allow golf cars on city streets. Vehicles need to be inspected and have safety features like turn signals, safety belts, reflectors and slow moving vehicle emblems.

Marathon, FL – City allows modified golf cars on low speed streets.  Under the auspicies of the state statue, any golf car meeting the safety and speed requirements will be able to use streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.  A city ordinance with different requirements would of required the city to do their own licensing and other onerous administrative duties regarding the vehicles.

Dundee, IL – Village Trustee is pushing the town to revisit the idea of allowing NEVs and LSVs on low speed village roads.

Lauderdale-by-the-sea, FL – The town is creating four parking spaces in their commercial area specifically for use by NEVs.

Augusta County, VA – Supervisors passed an ordinance allowing golf cars and utility vehicles on country roads with speed limits of 25 mph or less.

Bryan City, OH – Initiated ordinance that allows “neighborhood electric vehicles, urban electric vehicles and golf cars/carts” which have been modified to meet certain criteria to use roads with speed limits up to 25 mph.   Driving hours on public roads for the vehicles is limited to daylight hours.

Findlay, OH – City is considering allowing modified golf cars on low speed city streets.

Tecumseh, NE – Town council allows the use of ATVs and UTVs on city streets.  The ordinance allows ATVs and utility vehicles during daylight hours for licensed drivers with liability insurance. Vehicles must be equipped with a bicycle safety flag and not exceed 30 mph.

Riverside County, CA – The governor of California signed legislation that lets Riverside County open up more low speed roads for low speed vehicles.

Mankato, MN – City passed an ordinance that allowed UTVs and mini-trucks on city streets.  Lower speed golf cars were removed from the ordinance.

Canyon Lake, CA – LSVs/NEVs will not be allowed to use Railroad Canyon Road because of safety concerns related to the vehicles mixing with faster traffic.

Polk County, MN – County commissioners passed an ordinance that authorizes the use of four-wheel ATVs, mini trucks and golf carts on county roads.

Morris, MN – City council is considering an ordinance that allows ATVs, UTVs, mini-trucks and golf cars on city streets.

Reedsburg, WI – City council amended an ordinance to now allow gas as well as electric LSVs on public roads.

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