The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations passed or being considered at the state, county and city levels since he beginning of 2015. Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:
- Many of the ordinances focus on allowing UTVs, ATVs and mini-trucks to be used on public roads.
- There appears to be more regulatory activity with regards to golf cars than low speed vehicles.
- In a continuing trend, while some people are still expressing safety concerns about these vehicles being used in mixed traffic situations, they seem to be in the minority and most regulatory bodies are passing ordinances in favor of allowing these vehicles on roads.
Ontario, Canada – The province of Ontario will now allow people to drive ATVs, UTVs and multi-purpose off-highway utility vehicles on the shoulder of public roads. All riders and passengers will have to wear a helmet and seatbelt. The law reflects the growing use of the vehicles.
Indiana – The Indiana legislature passed a bill that will allow the use of mini-trucks on state roads and highways. The vehicle must be titled and registered with a ‘mini-truck’ plate.The bill also defines a mini-truck dealer as a person who sells more than 12 vehicles and requires the person to register with the state. A mini-truck is defined as having an ICE of not less than 660cc, a top speed of 60 mph or less, a locking enclosed cab and heated interior. The bill is mainly targeting farmers and hunters.
Alabama – A bill being proposed in the Alabama state legislature would allow cities to decide whether golf cars could be used on certain roads and to post signage declaring their use. It would require drivers to have a license and insurance and the golf cars to have seat belts, headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield. The legislation is meant to clear up any confusion related to some cities allowing golf cars on their streets, while others do not.
Chatham County, GA – Police ticketing drivers for using golf cars on public roads use is causing Chatham County officials to consider allowing golf car use on county roads. In general the state of Georgia does not allow golf cars to be allowed on public roads unless a municipality passes a specific ordinance allowing their use. Residents of the Isle of Hope, an island, are a driving force behind the review. With smaller and lower speed roads and less traffic, golf cars have become integrated to some degree into the island’s lifestyle and residents want to be able to use the vehicles without being ticketed.
Swift County, MN – A new ordinance passed by the Swift County board of commissioners allows the use of UTVs, ATVs and golf cars on county roads. The law only applies to county roads, not state or federal highways, city streets, or township roads unless those jurisdictions have also passed laws allowing their use.
Clay County, IA – The Clay County Board of Supervisors is developing an ordinance that would allow the use of UTVs and ATVs on county highways. Public hearings and more fact finding from neighboring counties will be carried out before a final ordinance is proposed.
Nashville, TN – The city council approved regulations governing the use of low-speed vehicles for taxi services. The regulations give the Metro Transportation Licensing Commission authority to determine how many low-speed vehicle certificates are issued in Metro and to whom. The vehicles must also undergo inspections, will be limited to seven passengers and travel no more than 25 mph.
Schuyler City, NE – The city council is considering an ordinance that would require of owners of UTVs or ATVs to purchase licenses at a cost of $75 annually. The intent of the law is to make sure that those who regularly drive the vehicles on city streets get licenses.
Wilmington, NC – A bill moving through the state legislature will allow public safety officials to operate utility vehicles on Wilmington public streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. The legislation is mainly targeting the fire department and police department that currently use utility vehicles for events and emergency response. In some cases the UTVs must first be transported to where they are being used.
Montpelier, VT – The village council is considering an ordinance to allow LSVs to operate on the town’s public roads.
Marion, KS – The city council approved regulations that would allow ATVs, UTVs, golf cars and mini-trucks to be used on city streets. The vehicles will have to be register them with the local police department at a cost of $45 for one year or $75 for two years.
New Braunfels, TX – A public hearing was recently held for input into developing an ordinance that would allow golf cars and LSVs to be used on city streets.