Peoa ranchers praise ‘street-legal’ ATV bill
February 22, 2008
Peoa residents Dale and Dona Williams ride their four-wheelers to and from work twice a day.
"We still do our work every morning. We ride straight on down," said Dona gesturing toward cattle the couple raise in South Summit a few blocks from their home on State Road 32. "It’s a lot easier (than a pickup truck). We had some of those three-wheeled ATVs to start with. They’re really handy."
The 80-year-old Coalville native rides a stout Yamaha Bruin 350 painted forest green.
"We drive from here down to our property," her husband Dale, 87, said while perched atop his Yamaha Big Bear 400 in his driveway. "We try to keep this side of the white line whenever traveling."
His machine is painted camouflage and set Williams back about $5,500.
"They run a long time," he explained. "This is the second bunch that we have worn out."
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Compared to firing up his pickup each time the cows need hay, ATVs save the couple a lot on fuel costs.
"It would cost us quite a bit more," Dale said.
A bill moving through the Utah Legislature would allow ATVs that are street legal to be ridden on certain two-lane roadways in rural Utah.
"That’d be nice," Dale said in an interview at his home Thursday.
Senate Bill 181 requires ATV operators comply with the same requirements as motorcyclists. ATVs would be subject to safety inspections at the time they are registered with the state.
"It wouldn’t hurt for them to put signals on them," Williams suggested.
To be street legal ATVs must have headlights, taillights and a light to illuminate the registration plate, according to SB 181.
Reflectors and brake lights are required on the rear as are amber turn signals on each side of the front and back of the machines.
Street-legal ATVS are equipped with horns, rearview mirrors and an emission control system in accordance with state law, the legislation states.
Retrofitting an all terrain vehicle to make it street legal could cost $900, Summit County Sheriff Dave Edmunds said.
"Really it’s no different than a motorcycle at that point," Edmunds said.
A substitute version of SB 181 is poised to pass the House after the bill was approved by the Senate 22-4. Allen Christensen and Kevin Van Tassell, Republicans who represent Summit County in the Senate, voted for the bill.