ATV trail system opens today
April 27, 2012
Langlade County all-terrain vehicle trails opened this morning, with side-by-side vehicles sharing the system with traditional four-wheelers.
Langlade County has been participating in a state pilot program to determine if the increasingly popular utility vehicles, also known as UTVs and LUVs can co-exist with four-wheelers and other trail users.
That pilot program has led to a new Wisconsin law that provides for permanent registration and updated regulation of utility terrain vehicles. It goes into effect on July 1.
Utility terrain vehicle means a motor driven device that is not a golf cart, low-speed vehicle, dune buggy, mini-truck, or tracked vehicle, that is designed to be used primarily off highway, and originally manufactured with and equipped with all of the following:
—a net weight of less than 2,000 pounds;
—a cargo box installed by the manufacturer;
—a steering wheel;
—a tail light;
—a brake light;
—a width of not more than 65 inches;
—seats for at least two occupants, on non-straddled seats;
—seat belts; and
—roll bar or similar device designed to reduce the likelihood that an occupant would be crushed as the result of a rollover.
UTVs will follow nearly all the ATV laws, except where specifically referenced and will have a specific UTV decal. Registration categories will be the same as ATVs—agriculture, private, or public.
UTV operators at least age 16 and those born on or after Jan. 1, 1988 must be a graduate of an approved ATV Safety Certification Course to operate in areas open to the public.
The agricultural use definition for ATVs and UTVs is modified to be consistent with the Department of Transportation. Agricultural use now means transporting farm implements, equipment, supplies, or products on a farm or between farms.
Other changes in the new law include:
—Creation of a new, non-resident, UTV trail pass.
—New, $20, five day ATV and UTV non-resident trail pass.
—New, $5 late registration renewal fee assessed for customers renewing their registration after the expiration date., effective July 1
—UTVs will follow all ATV snow removal laws.
—UTV-generated funding for UTV trails.
—UTV passengers are only allowed in seats that the UTV was originally manufactured with. Riding in the bed or cargo box of a UTV will be illegal.
—ATVs and UTVs are now required to display a rear license plate, in addition to the side decals. Plate can be created or purchased by the registered owner. Plate specifications are 4 inches high by 7 1/2 inches wide, white in color with black lettering. Letters must be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches high and 3/16 stroke. Registered owners must display their six digit, registration ID numbers on the plate.
—Commercial license holders will also create/purchase their own plates to display their commercial decals upon.
—Certain ATVs that do not currently fit the ATV definition may be registered as UTVs, such as ATVs weighting more than 900 pounds.
—Registrations and annual trail passes will expire March 31.
—Beginning in 2013, the first full weekend in June will be a registration free weekend for ATVs and UTVs