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All-terrain and utility task vehicles get the green light

WALLA WALLA, Washington – Expect to see all-terrain vehicles and utility-task vehicles on the streets of Walla Walla by the end of the month, but there are exceptions. The Walla Walla city council has approved by a vote of 5 to 1 an ordinance allowing the use of ATVs and UTVs on city streets.

Sections of four roadways within city limits prohibit such use of ATVs and UTVs. They include Heritage Road west of Myra Road, Lower Waitsburg Road north of U.S. Highway 12, and Mill Creek and Harbert roads east of the former Pennbrook/Illahee property, according to documents provided by City Attorney Tim Donaldson.

Mayor Barbara Clark told KTEL News the ordinance was requested by a local resident who had his UTV certified and licensed by the Washington State Department of Licensing for street use.

“In order for him to be able to ride it on the street, the local city, the local jurisdiction has the authority to decide whether or not those will be allowed on local streets,” Clark said.

Clark explained one of the factors council considered was that this is something regulated by the state with the provision that the city gets to make the final decision.

“The state does the licensing and in order to get an endorsement to be able to ride on city streets, your vehicle gets inspected, has to have certain kinds of equipment on it – lights, turn signals,” Clark said.  The kind of things that make it fit right in with traffic.”

The ordinance only allows ATVs and UTVs to be operated on city streets that have a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less.

Clark emphasized the importance of ATV and UTV owners knowing that in order to legally ride on city streets, the operator must be licensed and that there are also age requirements for passengers due to safety concerns.

“The ordinance summary will be published on October 15 and the provisions will become effective on October 20,” City Clerk Kammy Hill said.

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