SALT LAKE CITY — Street-legal off-highway vehicles could travel roads in Salt Lake County under legislation approved Wednesday by the Utah House of Representatives.
Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said HB82 addresses an issue of "fairness."
There are more off-highway vehicles registered in Salt Lake County than any other county in the state, yet it's the only county where they aren't allowed to be ridden on streets or roads, Noel said.
"I don't see a rationale that a city can outlaw a street-legal vehicle," he said.
Noel said he is working with a constituent who has reached out to local governments in Salt Lake County requesting that OHVs be permitted to travel on roads and highways with posted speed limits under 50 mph.
"Guess what? It didn’t work. Local government has failed them," Noel said.
Meanwhile, Salt Lake County has collected vehicle registration fees but doesn't allow owners to access roads in the county, he said.
Rep. Lee Perry, R-Perry, spoke in support of the bill, noting that OHVs are "probably safer in many cases than a bicycle."
Rep. Joel Briscoe, D-Salt Lake City, asked whether the legislation would permit municipalities to post signs giving notice that OHV use is not permitted in certain areas.
While OHV use on streets in some parts of Salt Lake County might not be problematic, "I don't think my constituents want to see them on South Temple," Briscoe said.
The House voted 62-10 to pass the bill, sending it to the Senate for its consideration.