CHAPTER 75 – All-Terrain Vehicles and Snowmobiles

CHAPTER 75

ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES AND SNOWMOBILES

 

75.01 Purpose 75.05 Operation of All-Terrain Vehicles
75.02 Definitions 75.06 Negligence
75.03 General Regulations 75.07 Accident Reports
75.04 Operation of Snowmobiles 75.08 Operation of Off-Road Utility Vehicle

75.01 PURPOSE. The purpose of this chapter is to regulate the operation of all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles within the City.

75.02 DEFINITIONS. For use in this chapter the following terms are defined:
1. “All-terrain vehicle” or “ATV” means a motorized vehicle, with not less than three and not more than six non-highway tires, that is limited in engine displacement to less than 1,000 cubic centimeters and in total dry weight to less than 1,200 pounds and that has a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.1)

2. “Off-road motorcycle” means a two-wheeled motor vehicle that has a seat or saddle designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebars for steering control and that is intended by the manufacturer for use on natural terrain. “Off-road motorcycle” includes a motorcycle that was originally issued a certificate of title and registered for highway use under Chapter 321 of the Code of Iowa, but that contains design features that enable operation over natural terrain. An operator of an off-road motorcycle is also subject to the provisions of this chapter governing the operation of all-terrain vehicles. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.1)

3. “Off road utility vehicle” means a motorized vehicle with four (4) non-highway tires that is limited in engine displacement to less than one thousand five hundred (1,500) cubic centimeters and in total dry weight to not more than two thousand (2,000) pounds and that has a seat that is of bucket or bench design not intended to be straddled by the operator, a steering wheel or control levers for control, and is equipped with a bed or cargo box for hauling materials. Vehicles designed for the primary purpose of recreation, such as dune buggies and recreational side by sides, shall not fit this definition and are not allowed under this section. Razors, Mavericks and Wildcats are not allowed within the City limits. The Chief of Police shall have the final say on whether a vehicle meets this definition.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.1) (Ord. 120 – Jan. 15 Supp.)

4. “Snowmobile” means a motorized vehicle that weighs less than 1,000 pounds, that uses sled-type runners or skis, endless belt-type tread with a width of 48 inches or less, or any combination of runners, skis, or tread, and is designed for travel on snow or ice. “Snowmobile” does not include an all-terrain vehicle that has been altered or equipped with runners, skis, belt-type tracks, or treads. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.1)

75.03 GENERAL REGULATIONS. No person shall operate an ATV, off-road motorcycle or off-road utility vehicle within the City in violation of Chapter 321I of the Code of Iowa or a snowmobile within the City in violation of the provisions of Chapter 321G of the Code of Iowa or in violation of rules established by the Natural Resource Commission of the Department of Natural Resources governing their registration, equipment and manner of operation.  (Code of Iowa, Ch. 321G & Ch. 321I)

75.04 OPERATION OF SNOWMOBILES. The operators of snowmobiles shall comply with the following restrictions as to where snowmobiles may be operated within the City:
1. Streets. Snowmobiles shall be operated only upon streets that have not been plowed during the snow season and on such other streets as may be designated by resolution of the Council.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.9[4a])

2. Exceptions. Snowmobiles may be operated on prohibited streets only under the following circumstances:

A. Emergencies. Snowmobiles may be operated on any street in an emergency during the period of time when and at locations where snow upon the roadway renders travel by conventional motor vehicles impractical. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.9[4c])

B. Direct Crossing. Snowmobiles may make a direct crossing of a prohibited street provided all of the following occur:
(1) The crossing is made at an angle of approximately ninety degrees (90°) to the direction of the street and at a place where no obstruction prevents a quick and safe crossing;
(2) The snowmobile is brought to a complete stop before crossing the street;
(3) The driver yields the right-of-way to all on-coming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard; and
(4) In crossing a divided street, the crossing is made only at an intersection of such street with another street.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.9[2])

3. Railroad Right-of-Way. Snowmobiles shall not be operated on an operating railroad right-of-way. A snowmobile may be driven directly across a railroad right-of-way only at an established crossing and notwithstanding any other provisions of law may, if necessary, use the improved portion of the established crossing after yielding to all oncoming traffic. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.13[1h])

4. Trails. Snowmobiles shall not be operated on all-terrain vehicle trails except where so designated. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.9[4f])

5. Parks and Other City Land. Snowmobiles shall not be operated in any park, playground or upon any other City-owned property without the express permission of the City. A snowmobile shall not be operated on any City land without a snow cover of at least one-tenth of one inch.

6. Sidewalk or Parking. Snowmobiles shall not be operated upon the public sidewalk or that portion of the street located between the curb line and the sidewalk or property line commonly referred to as the “parking” except for purposes of crossing the same to a public street upon which operation is authorized by this chapter.

75.05 OPERATION OF ALL-TERRAIN VEHICLES. The operators of ATVs shall comply with the following restrictions as to where ATVs may be operated within the City:
1. Streets. ATVs and off-road utility vehicles may be operated on streets only in accordance with Section 321.234A of the Code of Iowa or on such streets as may be designated by resolution of the Council for the operation of registered ATVs or registered off-road utility vehicles. In designating such streets, the Council may authorize ATVs and off-road utility vehicles to stop at service stations or convenience stores along a designated street. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.10[1 & 3])

2. Trails. ATVs shall not be operated on snowmobile trails except where designated. (Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.10[4])

3. Railroad Right-of-Way. ATVs shall not be operated on an operating railroad right-of-way. An ATV may be driven directly across a railroad right-of-way only at an established crossing and notwithstanding any other provisions of law may, if necessary, use the improved portion of the established crossing after yielding to all oncoming traffic.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321I.14[1h])

4. Parks and Other City Land. ATVs shall not be operated in any park, playground or upon any other City-owned property without the express permission of the City.

5. Sidewalk or Parking. ATVs shall not be operated upon the public sidewalk or that portion of the street located between the curb line and the sidewalk or property line commonly referred to as the “parking.”

75.06 NEGLIGENCE. The owner and operator of an ATV or snowmobile are liable for any injury or damage occasioned by the negligent operation of the ATV or snowmobile. The owner of an ATV or snowmobile shall be liable for any such injury or damage only if the owner was the operator of the ATV or snowmobile at the time the injury or damage occurred or if the operator had the owner’s consent to operate the ATV or snowmobile at the time the injury or damage occurred.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.18 & 321I.19)

75.07 ACCIDENT REPORTS. Whenever an ATV or snowmobile is involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to anyone or property damage amounting to one thousand five hundred dollars ($1,500.00) or more, either the operator or someone acting for the operator shall immediately notify a law enforcement officer and shall file an accident report, in accordance with State law.
(Code of Iowa, Sec. 321G.10 & 321I.11)

75.08 OPERATION OF OFF-ROAD UTILITY VEHICLE.
1. Off road utility vehicles may be operated upon the public highways, streets, roads and alleys within the corporate limits of the City.

2. No off road utility vehicle shall be operated on any public highway, street, road or alley between sunset and sunrise. No off road utility vehicle shall be operated on any interstate highway, federal highway or State highway.

3. Every person operating an off road utility vehicle on the public highways, streets, roads and alleys of the City shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to a driver of a vehicle imposed by law. Any person who is found to have violated any established traffic law shall be subject to the fine plus surcharge and costs as established in the current compendium of scheduled violations and scheduled fines of Iowa for that violation.

4. All laws regarding the use of seatbelts and child restraints shall be obeyed.

5. No person may ride on an off road utility vehicle on any portion not designed to carry passengers. No person may stand on or ride in the cargo area of an off road utility vehicle while it is in motion.

6. No person under the age of eighteen (18) may operate an off road utility vehicle within the corporate limits of the City.

A. Valid Driver’s License Required: No person shall operate an off road utility vehicle on any public highway, street, road or alley within the corporate limits of the City unless such person has a valid driver’s license.

B. Display Of Slow Moving Vehicle Emblem: It shall be illegal to operate an off road utility vehicle on any public highway, street, road or alley within the corporate limits of the City unless such vehicle displays a slow moving vehicle emblem on the rear of the vehicle and a bicycle safety flag.

C. Insurance Required; Financial Responsibility: The owner of every off road utility vehicle being operated upon City streets and alleys shall have in effect liability insurance covering the off road utility vehicle in the same limits as required of automobiles by the financial responsibility provisions of Chapter 321A of the Code of Iowa.

D. Penalty: Any person who is found to have violated subsection B5, B6, D, or E of this section shall be subject to a fine of fifty dollars ($50.00) plus surcharge and costs. A court appearance shall not be required if the fine is paid in full prior to the date set for the person’s court appearance.
E. Registration and License; Fee; Application; Inspection:

(1) Before operating any off road utility vehicle on any public highway, street, road or alley within the corporate limits of the City and each calendar year thereafter, the vehicle shall be registered with the City and a license shall be obtained and placed on the work site utility vehicle. The license fee shall be fifteen dollars ($15.00). Permits will be granted for one (1) year and renewed annually March 1st. The full amount of the license fee shall be required regardless of the time of year that the application is made.

(2) Application for registration of an off road utility vehicle shall be made by the owner, or owner’s agent, at the Melcher-Dallas police department. The application shall be made upon forms provided by the City and each application shall contain the name of the owner, the owner’s residence address, or bona fide place of business, and a brief description of the vehicle to be registered (including make, model and serial number). Proof of insurance, as required in subsection E of this section, shall be furnished at the time of application for registration.

(3) Prior to the issuance of the registration and license, each applicant for an off road utility vehicle license shall first present such vehicle for an official inspection. If, upon inspection and completion of the registration application, such vehicle is found to be in safe mechanical condition, and upon establishing proof of insurance and payment of the fees herein provided, a license shall be issued to the owner who shall attach it to the vehicle. The license shall be displayed in such a manner as to be clearly visible from the rear of the vehicle. The license number on the application will be recorded and then filed at the City Hall. (Ord. 120 – Jan. 15 Supp.)