Now that spring is here, residents might be tempted to take their off-road motorcycle or recreational vehicle out for a spin, but Provo police say they better think twice about where they ride it.
"Not only is there the matter of violating the law and disturbing the peace of a neighborhood, but there are obvious environmental issues involved that the community cannot continue to ignore," Police Chief Swen Nielsen said.State law says off-highway vehicles may be operated on public land only when posted for that use, and Provo police say there is no such land within the city.
Off-road vehicles may be operated on private property with the permission of the property owner, but the absence of signs prohibiting motorcycling cannot be taken as permission.
Even if permission is obtained from property owners, off-road vehicle use may present a noise or dust problem to residents and may be a violation of local noise laws.
Unlicensed drivers may receive a citation for driving on city streets, and improperly licensed vehicles driven on city streets may be impounded.
"Undoubtedly many youthful motorcycle or recreational-vehicle drivers in the community are not cognizant of the nuisance they often represent to neighbors," Nielsen said. "It is hoped that parents and other adults will counsel with these young people to avoid running afoul of the law."
Police have no particular interest in citing offenders and impounding their vehicles and would much rather see voluntary compliance with the law and principles of good citizenship, he said.
The Forest Service and other governmental agencies will be meeting in the future to determine if there are public areas that could be posted for off-road vehicle use.