Municipalities in Kewaunee County offer ATV and UTV enthusiasts a patchwork quilt when it comes to where and when the vehicles are allowed on area roadways. Last September, the Kewaunee County Board passed a number of regulations for off-road vehicle drivers on local roads, including a speed limit, a curfew, and minimum age. Passing the actual ordinance was left to local municipalities and so far nine have approved ATVs and UTVs on their streets while five have not. Kewaunee County Sheriff Matt Joski says it is something riders need to be aware of as they go from place to place.
While Joski says he feels uncomfortable with ATVs and UTVs commingling with other drivers on the road, he is happy that there have not been any major incidents since the ordinance passed. He added that he will be meeting with the Town of Lincoln Board about the ordinance at one of their upcoming meetings.
FROM SHERIFF JOSKI
Over the past few years we have seen an increase in the use of ATV/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 has 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 challenging 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 forest or the 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 regards 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 which would govern the use of these units on our roads and provide the safest possible environment for all.
I wanted to take this opportunity to share with everyone where we are in regards to those Towns, Villages and Cities which have passed ordinances allowing the use of ATV/UTVs and those that have not. It is important to note that the authority for allowing these vehicles on the roads 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, as well as 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 which are and are not allowing the use of these vehicles and be respectful of that decision. Any operation of ATV/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!