As the weather warms up amongst many other activities being underway so is the use of ATV and UTV’S aka side by sides. We at the Parsons Police would like to encourage everyone to follow the laws and guidelines set forth by the State of West Virginia. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.
- You may travel along the side “as far right as possible” of the road no faster than 25 mph from one point of operation to another, not to exceed 10 miles.
- No, you don’t have to wear a helmet if you’re over 18.
- You must still follow the rules of the road ie. stop signs.
- You must have your lights on at night, but not during the day unless crossing a double yellow lined road.
- No, you are not lawfully aloud to drive on a center lined road, but you can cross it in a safe location; ie. not in a blind turn.
- Yes, you can have a passenger if the atv or utv is equipped for caring passengers, passengers under 18 must wear a helmet.
- No, you cannot have a super loud exhaust without a spark arrester.
- No, you do not have to carry insurance; however, you are still civilly and personally liable if you cause an accident or damage property.
- If turning right or left, use your hand signals.
- Yes, you can still get a DUI on an atv or utv.
- No, you don’t have to have a license plate to run them on a road.
- Yes, you can drive them on a city street in Parsons if it’s unlined.
Above all use common sense and have respect for other motorists, property owners, and pedestrians. Enjoy your summer any other questions can be directed to the Parsons Police Chief “Jake” Kopec. Below are the rules as per West Virginia code section:
WEST VIRGINIA CODE
CHAPTER 17F. ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES.
ARTICLE 1. REGULATION OF ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES.
- 17F-1-1. Acts prohibited by operator; penalties for violations.
(a) No all-terrain vehicle may be operated in this state:
(1) On any interstate highway except by public safety personnel responding to emergencies;
(2) On any road or highway with a center line or more than two lanes except for the purpose of crossing the road, street or highway, if:
(A) The crossing is made at an angle of approximately ninety degrees to the direction of the highway and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing;
(B) The vehicle is brought to a complete stop before crossing the shoulder or main traveled way of the highway;
(C) The operator yields his or her right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate potential hazard; and
(D) Both the headlight and taillight are illuminated when the crossing is made if the vehicle is so equipped;
(3) With more than one passenger unless more passengers are allowed under manufacturers’ recommendations;
(4) With a passenger under the age of eighteen, unless the operator has at a minimum a level two intermediate driver’s license or its equivalent or is eighteen years of age or older;
(5) Unless riders under the age of eighteen are wearing size appropriate protective helmets that meet the current performance specifications established by the American National Standards Institute standard, z 90.1, the United States Department of Transportation federal motor vehicle safety standard no. 218 or Snell safety standards for protective headgear for vehicle users;
(6) Anytime from sunset to sunrise without an illuminated headlight or lights and taillights;
(7) Without a manufacturer-installed or equivalent spark arrester and a manufacturer-installed or equivalent muffler in proper working order and properly connected to the vehicle’s exhaust system; or
(8) Unless operating in compliance with the provisions of section two of this article.
(b) An all-terrain vehicle may be operated upon the shoulder, or as far to the right on the pavement as possible when there is not enough shoulder to safely operate, on any road, street or highway referred to in subdivision (2), subsection (a) of this section other than an interstate highway for a distance not to exceed ten miles to travel between a residence or lodging and off-road trails, fields and areas of operation, including stops for food, fuel, supplies and restrooms, if:
(1) The vehicle is operated at speeds of twenty-five miles per hour or less; and
(2) The vehicle is operated at any time from sunset to sunrise the all-terrain vehicle must be equipped with headlights and taillights which must be illuminated.
(c) Operation of an all-terrain vehicle in accordance with subsection (b) shall not constitute operation of a motor vehicle on a road or highway of this state as contemplated by the provisions of section seven of this article.
(d) Notwithstanding any provision of this chapter to the contrary, a municipality, county or other political subdivision of the state may authorize the operation of all-terrain vehicles on certain specified roads, streets or highways which are marked with centerline pavement markings, other than interstate highways, to allow participation in parades, exhibitions and other special events, in emergencies or for specified purposes.
§17F-1-9. Definition of all-terrain and utility terrain vehicle.
(a) As used in this chapter:
(1) “All-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” means any motor vehicle designed for off-highway use and designed to travel on not less than three low-pressure tires, having a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control and intended by the manufacturer to be used by a single operator or by an operator and no more than one passenger.
(2) “Utility-terrain vehicle” means any motor vehicle with four or more low-pressure tires designed for off-highway use having bench or bucket seating for each occupant and a steering wheel for control.
(3) “Motorcycle” means any motor vehicle manufactured with no more than two wheels and having a seat or a saddle for the use of the operator.
(4) “Off-highway vehicle” means a vehicle intended for off-highway use and includes all-terrain vehicles, utility-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and off-road vehicles;
(5) “Off-road vehicle” means a vehicle that is suitable for off-road use. It includes a four-wheel drive vehicle such as a Jeep, pickup or sport utility vehicle. It also includes a specially designed, modified or customized off-road vehicle that is of a similar size to a vehicle manufactured for highway use.
(b) As used in this article, “all-terrain vehicle” and “vehicle”, or the plural, mean all-terrain vehicles, utility-terrain vehicles, motorcycles and off-highway vehicles.