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Elkins is considering making ATVs “street legal”

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Published: Oct. 21, 2020 at 12:45 PM EDT
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ELKINS, W.Va (WDTV) - Elkins is considering an ordinance that would allow ATVs and UTVs to be operated on public roadways, according to a press release from the City of Elkins.

According to the release, Council’s Rules & Ordinances Committee is seeking public input on this matter before a Nov. 12. meeting which would decide whether to recommend council approval of the ordinance.

Since 2001, Elkins city code has not allowed ATVs and UTVs inside city limits, except on private property. At the time it was passed, this local law followed state code which, at the time, prohibited operation of ATVs and UTVs on paved, public roads. Since then, lawmakers amended state code this year to allow ATVs and UTVs to be operated on public roadways,

The state code has provisions such as it must be licensed, registered, insured, and outfitted with specific equipment and safety features to be designated “street legal” and to be operated on most public roadways. Required equipment includes head, tail, and brake lights; reflectors; turn signals; mirrors; and a muffler.

Cities and counties are not required to mirror these changes and may continue to prohibit ATV and UTV usage on streets inside their jurisdictions, according to the release.

At its Nov.12. meeting, the committee will discuss a draft ordinance that would change local laws to allow ATVs and UTVs that are compliant with the W.Va. Code to be operated on highways, roads, streets, and alleys inside Elkins, with some limitations.

The local ordinance would also establish an annual fee of $50 for a permit to operate ATVs and UTVs on public streets in Elkins. This ordinance would not permit operation of these vehicles anywhere currently closed to motor vehicles; it would also not impose any new limitations on any previously allowed uses of ATVs or UTVs.

The draft ordinance may be viewed online here: www.cityofelkinswv.com/street-legal-atvs-on-city-streets.

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