Legalize UTV for Street Use in PA

Legalize UTV for Street Use in PA

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Street Legal started this petition to Pennsylvania State House and

Off-Roading on ATVs and UTVs has been growing as a recreational activity exponentially and Pennsylvania offers one of the best landscapes for it.

Beginning in the late 1960s, people have been creating and using ATVs for transportation off-road. Here in the Anthracite coal fields of Pennsylvania, we have abandoned coal mining roads that have been utilized by these vehicles for recreation since their inception. The 70s, 80s and 90s brought increases in performance and safety, and annual sales of ATVs have increased every year since then.

In the late 1980s, Kawasaki invented an ATV of a different sort - the Mule was more car-like, with a left hand driver's position and a steering wheel instead of handlebars. Other manufacturers saw the allure and followed suit, creating their own versions of this new off-road vehicle. Through the years they got faster, bigger, and more expensive. Modern UTVs (or side by sides) feature most of the amenities one might expect from a car, including windshield and wiper, roll cage, headlights and taillights, seat belts, mufflers, stereos, and much more. The typical side by side one might find at a dealer will most likely exceed 64" in width and also exceed the cost of an average automobile. With a few aftermarket modifications such as a horn and turn signals, these vehicles have been made street-legal and registered as such in many states across the country.

At the time of this writing there were quite a few states that either outright allowed the registration of UTVs for use on the street, or at least made provisions for towns and counties to set their own standards. Some of these states include Utah, Arizona, Minnesota, Texas, Nevada, Wyoming, Idaho, Kansas, Indiana, North and South Dakota, Montana, Washington, Montana, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Vermont, Nebraska, Tennessee, New Hampshire and Colorado. Just within the first half of 2021 legislation has been passed to add Oklahoma and North Carolina to that list.

There should be, at the very least, a discussion regarding the legalization of UTVs for street use in Pennsylvania. The primary objective from a rider's point of view is to travel from one trailhead to another, or go into town to fuel their machine or get something to eat. The city of Shamokin, Northumberland County, recently created an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs to travel a designated route on designated days. This has resulted in an uptick in cash flow to the city of Shamokin, as shown by the recent rejuvenation of the business district. The nearby Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) sells in excess of 20,000 passes annually. Just to the southeast, Famous Reading Outdoors sells more than 10,000 passes a year-and these numbers are climbing rapidly. The economic impact of this many riders spending money in small town Pennsylvania every weekend should be studied.

Finally, we should look at comparisons. It can be said that UTVs on roads "aren't safe." However, there are vehicles that, in contrast, are much less safe - and street legal. Take for example the Polaris Slingshot, a three-wheeled "autocycle" (as registered in Pennsylvania), which is basically a sports car with two wheels up front and one in the back. Or take the Can-Am Spyder, which has the same wheel setup but the rider straddles the seat like a motorcycle and steers with handlebars. Neither of these vehicles has a rollcage. Pennsylvania also allows the street use of registered "dune buggies," which get titled as "specially constructed." Basically, this is a four-wheeled vehicle that you can build yourself and throw a license plate on and hit the roads. Safety-wise, a UTV can meet or beat the specifications set forth by the manufacturers of these other types of vehicles.

In closing, street legalization of side by sides and UTVs is happening across the country and has proven beneficial to riders throughout the land. Legal UTV use on Pennsylvania roads would not only increase revenue to small towns across the state, but also help state funding through registration and titling fees. Pennsylvania has some of the best off-roading areas in the country, and increasing tourism is a road we’d all like to go down!

0 have signed. Let’s get to 35,000!
At 35,000 signatures, this petition becomes one of the top signed on Change.org!