Goodwill gesture is lawBeing neighborly was the goal behind a proposal by Council President Dan Olson.
By: Shelley Nelson, Superior Telegram
Being neighborly was the goal behind a proposal by Council President Dan Olson.
Olson proposed modifying a city ordinance that limits the use of all-terrain vehicles to designated city trails.
The specific change would allow people to use ATVs on side streets if the machine is affixed with a yellow safety beacon and a plow.
Olson’s reasoning: It would allow people to help a neighbor clear snow from a sidewalk or driveway as a goodwill gesture.
But while Olson put forth the idea to the council this week, he withdrew the request to change the city code.
After all, a new state law passed in June 2010 already allows ATV drivers to operate off-trail between Oct. 1 and April 30.
Under the state law, people have to be two miles or less from their starting point to operate off-trail, said Parks and Recreation Administrator Mary Morgan. She said they must have one or more illuminated yellow safety beacons visible 360 degrees.
According to the Wisconsin Department Natural Resources, ATV use for snow removal is allowed under the following conditions:
* Speeds may not exceed 5 mph on public sidewalks and 15 mph on or adjacent to roads that are not freeways and only on roads where the speed limit is 45 mph or less, or that are designated for ATV use. ATVs must stay to the far right hand side of the road and must not exceed 10 mph within 150 feet of a residential dwelling.
* The operator must be 16 years or older and must have an ATV Safety Certificate if they were born after Dec. 31, 1987. Children younger than 18 are required to wear helmets while operating ATVs off private property owned by their parents or legal guardians.
* ATVs are required to have their headlights on at all times while operating on any road. ATV headlights must be able to illuminate an object at least 200 feet away. Taillights must be visible from at least 500 feet away during hours of darkness. Operators must be certain their snow removal equipment does not interfere with these legal lighting requirements.
* ATVs must have current Public Use Registration while operating on public roadways or sidewalks.
Superior Police Traffic Sgt. Mark McGillis assured Olson and city staff that the state law makes snow-removal use of an ATV permissible despite the city ordinance that prohibits use beyond the trail system, Morgan said.