Colonel Eric T. Olson, Superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, wishes to remind the public of the laws pertaining to the use of all-terrain vehicles and utility vehicles.
Missouri laws define utility vehicles as any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-road use, that is greater than 50 inches, but not more than 80 inches in width, with a dry curb weight of 3,500 pounds or less, traveling on four or six wheels, to be used primarily for landscaping, lawn care, or maintenance. Width is measured from the outside of the tire rim to the outside of the tire rim.
Commercial vehicles may be used on the highway if owned and operated by a government entity for official purposes and for on-site agricultural or industrial purposes between official sunrise and sunset. (Can work at night if equipped with proper lighting.)
Commercial vehicles may also be operated within three miles of the operator’s principal residence. The provisions of this subsection authorize the circulation of a commercial vehicle in a municipality only if this circulation is authorized by this municipality.
A UTV driver must have a valid driver’s license to drive on the highway.
A valid driver’s license is NOT required when used by persons with disabilities for occasional short distances, only on minor state roads (state literate routes), and only between sunrise and midnight. of sunset.
Cities may issue special permits to operate on highways within city limits by a licensed driver. Counties may issue special permits to travel on county-maintained roads. Municipalities may, by resolution or ordinance, permit the use of commercial vehicles on streets or highways within the jurisdiction of the governing body. Anyone operating a UTV under a municipal resolution or ordinance must maintain proof of financial responsibility.
Commercial vehicles cannot be driven at speeds greater than 45 miles per hour. Operators must respect the rules of the road (use turn signals, obey stop signs, etc.). It is illegal to drive a UTV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Additional requirements for UTVs include:
*A slow moving triangle is only required if riding less than 25 mph after sunset until half an hour before sunrise. This does not apply to dirt or gravel roads. The equilateral triangle displayed on the rear of the vehicle must be at least two feet above the road. It should be fluorescent yellow-orange and have a reflective red border at least one inch wide. Each side should measure at least 10 inches.
*UTVs cannot be operated in a creek or river, unless the waterway is flowing within the boundaries of land owned by the operator, or on land owned by another for the purposes farms with the permission of the landowner.
*Missouri law defines all-terrain vehicles as any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-road use, with a curb weight of 1,500 pounds or less, running on three, four or more off-road tires, with either a seat designed to straddle the operator and the handlebars for steering, or a width of 50 inches or less measured from the outside of the tire rim to the outside of the tire rim, regardless of arrangement of seats or management.
* ATVs cannot be used on the highway at speeds over 30 mph. Also, it is illegal to operate an ATV under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
* An ATV driver must respect the rules of the road (use turn signals, obey stop signs, etc.). Missouri law also requires:
* A bicycle safety flag mounted on the rear of the vehicle for use on the highway. The flag must extend at least seven feet above the ground, be triangular, have an area of at least 30 square inches, and must be daytime in color.
* Helmets for riders under 18.
* One headlight and one tail light on whenever it is used on the highway or street.
* A braking system maintained in good working order.
* An adequate muffler system in good working order and a US Forest Service qualified spark arrester.
* Be registered with the Ministère du Revenu (vignette).
* Passengers are NOT permitted, except for agricultural purposes, unless the seat is designed to carry more than one passenger. ATVs may not travel in a stream or river, unless the waterway runs within the boundaries of land owned by the operator, or on land owned by another for agricultural purposes with permission of the landowner.
An ATV can be driven on the highway:
* If owned and operated by a government entity for official purposes.
* For agricultural or industrial purposes on site between official sunrise and sunset.
* If a city has issued a special permit to operate on highways within city limits by licensed drivers.
* If a county has issued special permits to travel on county-maintained roads.
* If a municipality, by resolution or ordinance, permits the operation of ATV vehicles on streets or highways under the jurisdiction of the governing body. Anyone operating an ATV under a municipal resolution or ordinance must retain proof of financial responsibility.
* Although there is no age requirement for riding an ATV, this does not mean that a child of any age can safely ride one. It is the responsibility of parents to ensure that their children are mentally and physically prepared to ride an ATV. These vehicles come in many sizes, and it is important to match the rider with the ATV. The Patrol strongly encourages parents to have their children take a certified safety course before riding an ATV.
As with any vehicle, safety must come first.