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Front Page » June 17, 2004 » Local News » Helper ordinance regulates off-highway vehicles in city
Published 3,719 days ago

Helper ordinance regulates off-highway vehicles in city


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By LYNNDA JOHNSON
Sun Advocate editor


A recently approved ordinance regulates off-highway vehicle travel on the roadways in Helper. The city council passed guidelines allowing ATV operators to follow designated routes to access nearby riding areas.

Helper officials recently implemented an ordinance governing all-terrain and off-highway vehicle travel on the city's streets.

The regulations are specifically designed to allow residents to pass through the city limits and access approved ATV riding areas, explained Helper Police Chief George Zamantakis

Off-highway vehicles, ATVs, motorcycles and scooters are becoming increasingly popular at locations across the state, continued the police chief.

Utah has laws regulating the vehicles and Helper's ordinance contains similar guidelines to ensure the safety of ATV operators as well as the general public.

According to Zamantakis, compliance with the regulations will produce positive results within the local community and the county.

Tentative recreation and tourism goals include focusing on connecting the existing ATV riding areas with trails currently in the development stages.

"Helper wants the ordinance to work. The city wants it to be a logical thing," commented the police chief. "But it is basically a make it or break or break it situation. People need to obey the ordinance. We need to work together as a community to make it a positive activity."

The guidelines apply to type one and type two all-terrain vehicles.

The ordinance defines type one ATVs as motor vehicles 50 inches or less in width with unladen dry weights of 800 pounds or less.

Equipped with seats to be straddled by operators, the type one recreational vehicles have the capability of traveling across unimproved terrain on three or more low-pressure tires.

Examples include three-wheel and four-wheel all-terrain recreational vehicles.

The ordinance specifies that type two ATVs are undefined motor vehicles capable of traveling across unimproved terrain. Type two ATVs exclude golf carts, farm tractors and vehicles not specifically designed for recreational use.

The guidelines designate the following ATV routes:

•North on Racey Street to the old railroad bed.

•Janet Street from Spruce to Main Street.

•Along 100 West from Janet to Hill Street.

•From 100 West to the Hill Street dugway via the tunnel under U.S. Highway 6.

•On Hill Street from the dugway to Duchesne Street.

•Along Duchesne from Hill to Canyon Street.

•Canyon Street from Duchesne to the Utah Railway crossing at the west city limits.

•On Reservoir Street from the south end of Duchesne to Gun Club Road.

•West along Gun Club Road from Reservoir Street to the city limits.

The ordinance prohibits off-highway vehicle travel along U.S. 6 inside the Helper city limits, on Main Street between Birch Street and the freeway, on Main from U.S. 6 to Uintah Street and along Poplar Street between Main Street and the highway.

Pursuant to the regulations, ATV operators must come to a complete stop and yield to oncoming traffic before crossing a street or highway at a right angle.

The vehicles must be properly registered and riders ages 8 to 16 years old must have state-issued safety certificates in their immediate possession.

The guidelines prohibit individuals 16 years of age or older from operating an ATV without a valid Utah drivers license.

In addition, the ordinance outlines off-highway vehicle equipment-operator safety gear requirements, restricts ATV riders from entering onto private property without first obtaining permission and mandates compliance with posted speed limits as well as traffic regulations.

The guidelines specify that off-highway vehicles must be equipped with adequate brakes, noise control devices and spark arrestors. Headlights and taillights are also required when operating the vehicles between sunset and sunrise.

The ordinance includes a provision requiring all-terrain vehicle operators younger than the age of 18 to wear properly fitted protective headgear approved by the Utah Department of Transportation.

Off-highway vehicle operators who fail to comply with the regulations established by the ordinance will face criminal prosecution on class C misdemeanor category offenses, emphasized the Helper police chief.

Residents with Internet access may obtain additional information about the ordinance by visiting the police department's website at www.helpercitypd.net., concluded Zamantakis.


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