Use of ATVs, UTVs on Kewaunee County roads is up to the communities governing the roads
Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the use of all-terrain vehicles and utility terrain vehicles (ATVs and UTVs) throughout many communities.
As a young boy on the farm, I can still remember when I purchased my one and only ATC (they called them all-terrain cycles back then because they only have three wheels versus four). I purchased it with the money I had saved up, as well as selling my young bull that I had raised.
Back then these units were meant for strictly off-road use and I took advantage of the many open fields and pastures around our farm to challenge the laws of physics.
These units have advanced to the point where they are more like motor vehicles, and their use has expanded greatly as well. Many communities throughout the state have created entire trail systems to advance the use of these vehicles and in the process benefit their local economies.
Here in Kewaunee County we don’t have the national forests or vast wooded areas that would serve as such trail routes, but we have seen an increased interest in the opportunity to operate these vehicles on some of our local roads.
When the idea of opening up public roadways to these units was brought to my attention, I have to be honest, I had some concerns, in fact I still have concerns in regard to co-mingling recreational vehicle traffic alongside motor vehicle, commercial vehicle and implement of husbandry traffic.
That being said, I was very proud that our communities got together and created a standard for ordinances that would govern the use of these units on our roads and provide the safest possible environment for all.
I want to take this opportunity to share with everyone where we are in regard to those towns, villages and cities that have passed ordinances allowing the use of ATVs/UTVs and those that have not.
It is important to note that the authority for allowing these vehicles on a road rests with the respective governing body for that road. Primarily, the allowance of these units on roads is at the town or village level.
To date, the cities of Algoma and Kewaunee have not passed an ordinance allowing these units on their roads, nor has the village of Luxemburg. The village of Casco has approved use of these units on the streets of their village.
The following townships have passed ordinances and erected the appropriate signage, which is part of this process. Ahnapee, Carlton, Pierce, Casco, Montpelier, Red River and West Kewaunee. The town of Luxemburg has passed an ordinance and their signs will be going up in the near future.
The following towns have not passed an ordinance allowing the use of these vehicles on their roads: Franklin and Lincoln.
Please make note of those roads that are and are not allowing the use of these vehicles and be respectful of that decision. Any operation of ATVs or UTVs on roadways not authorized is illegal and penalties will be enforced. It is the responsibility of the operators to know the requirements and restrictions relative to the operation of their units.
If anyone has any questions regarding this topic, please feel free to contact me and we can discuss further. Thank you and stay safe!
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Use of ATVs, UTVs on Kewaunee County roads is up to the communities governing the roads