NORTH OGDEN -- Residents may soon be able to ride their all-terrain vehicles on city streets.
The city council will be reviewing a proposed ordinance regarding the issue in the coming weeks.
The council discussed allowing ATVs with some residents and the police chief at a recent council meeting and got mixed responses.
Resident Terry Bexell made a presentation to the council about the pros of being able to ride ATVs on the streets in his city. He cited the fact that the state has a law allowing the use of ATVs on city streets if cities approve it. He also visited Pleasant View and spoke with the police chief there. They have allowed ATVs for a couple of years and never issued any citations, Bexell said.
Bexell explained that to make the ATVs street legal quite a few safety precautions have to be taken and he stated several times that safety is a top concern with allowing the ATVs on streets in the city.
"Personally I am representing quite a few people," Bexell said, referring to the many residents who would like to see an ordinance passed.
He said he spoke with several people at Cherry Days who are interested in being able to ride their four-wheelers in the city, and he said some people already do so by riding the back streets between Pleasant View and North Ogden.
Bexell said he would like to see the law passed for the convenience of getting to off-road spots. He feels it is safer than loading up his truck and trailer and riding in the steep terrain to unload his ATV.
Police Chief Kevin Warren also addressed the issue, but isn't so excited about the idea.
"Safety is our No. 1 concern in our police department, and we have a lot of people here who commute," Warren said. "We are not a rural community anymore, we are a suburb."
Warren said he understands that people want to drive their ATVs on city streets, but he listed several intersections where riding the ATVs would be completely unsafe, in his opinion. He also said it is very costly to convert the ATVs to make them street legal. He worries more about safety issues with ATVs than with motorcycles.
Bexell suggested that the city try it and see how it works out.
Warren said he isn't opposed to trying it out if the council really wants to.
City Manager Ron Chandler previously worked in Cedar City when it passed a law to allow ATVs, and he said the city made several restrictions, including allowing them to be driven only on streets that led to foothills unless they were getting gas.
Councilman Wade Bigler pointed out that it would be hard to distinguish when that would be.
Chandler said they had little problem with people complying, except with underage drivers.Warren said that on city roads all drivers have to be 16; when off-road the age is 14.
"The safety issue is with regard to collision," Warren pointed out, but reiterated that they could try it out and see how it works.
Councilman Brent Taylor said he isn't opposed to trying it out, but he would want some things to be addressed, such as what type of ATVs will be allowed, what streets they can be used on and educating the public about the ordinance.
"I kind of feel like you are my teenage son ... everyone else is doing it, so we should be too," joked Councilman Kent Bailey. "You make a good case," he said to Bexell, but also said he would like more facts and figures before making a decision.
The council may vote on an ordinance later this summer.