A task force is working toward standardizing city ordinances in regard to operating off-highway vehicles in cities that accommodate riders along the 200-mile Paiute ATV Trail in south-central Utah.
Officials see a need for such a move because the trail is becoming increasingly popular and users travel on the vehicles into communities for services in Sevier, Piute and Millard counties. The trail is fast becoming an economic boon to the area.Several of the cities and towns near the trail have adopted ordinances that authorize ATV trail riders to use specified streets within city limits, but regulations have varied widely from community to community. Officials want to change that.
The group has studied such concerns as liabilities of cities in case of accidents, whether local ordinances could be more restrictive than state laws and if one set of rules could be established to meet the needs of all communities. Speed limits, parental guidance, insurance requirements and other problems have been considered.
Task force members noted that there is a wide variance of legal opinion from local judicial system officials, so the Utah attorney general's office was contacted for an opinion on legal issues. Five suggestions were then drafted to include elements of a standard community and county OHV-use rule as follows:
- Allow use on some roads that are designated and signed for OHV use in a manner that would not only allow the OHV user to know which roads are open, but would tell other road users of their OHV designation as well.
- Limit speed to 10 mph for all OHV operators using designated roads within city limits.
- Require all riders between 8 and 16 years of age to meet state requirements for training and certification and be accompanied and supervised by their parent or guardian on a similar type OHV within 50 feet at all times. The parent or guardian would have to be proficient in the operation of both vehicles.
- Signs would be placed at crossroads of major OHV collector roads to warn other motorists of the possibility of the OHV use. Also, information signs should be placed where OHV trails enter any community. These signs should explain routes, rules and other information necessary.
- Unpaved roads should be designated wherever possible and designated paved roads should have as few turns as possible.
The Paiute ATV Trail crosses three mountain ranges and passes through rugged canyons and deserts designed especially for all-terrain vehicle riding enthusiasts. Most of it is in the beautiful Fishlake National Forest and public lands administered by the Richfield District of the Bureau of Land Management. It also offers numerous side trips to spectacular scenery, fishing and surrounding towns.
The trail is marked by signs through cooperative efforts of local, state and federal agencies, and is readily accessible from communities along I-70, I-15 and U.S. 89.
The agencies have printed a brochure containing colored photographs and a map of the trail.
Additional information may be obtained by writing or telephoning Panoramaland, Box 820, Richfield, UT 84701, (801) 896-9222.