People all over the country use ATVs for recreation and light-duty work, but for places that experience inclement weather throughout the year, like Alaska, ATVs are used primarily as a source of transportation. In fact, Governor Mike Dunleavy announced that starting Jan. 1, 2022, Alaskans can start using all-terrain vehicles on state roads. Here are the laws you need to be aware of.
Requirements for ATV users on state roads
To ride an ATV on state roads, you will need to carry insurance specifically for all-terrain vehicles. Since ATVs don’t have airbags, windshields or seat belts, they are prone to recreational accidents. Using your current vehicle insurance may not cover the risks associated with ATVs.
You must follow all the traffic laws. For example, Governor Mike Dunleavy reduced the speed limit for people using ATVs. You can only drive at 45 mph or less.
You must place visible front and rear license plates as well as headlights and brake lights. This will help traffic officers identify you on the road if anything happens.
If your ATV has a seat belt, you must wear it. If you are traveling with a child, you must also fit child restraints or car seats on your all-terrain vehicle’s seat. In addition, your passengers must wear a helmet.
You must be at least 16 years old to operate an ATV or Side by Side on the state roads. If your child has a youth model ATV, you must ensure that they are safe, protected and in the best condition to operate an ATV, but the law doesn’t allow them to drive on state roads.
Following the law
There are mixed feelings concerning the new ATV law in Alaska. Most people are worried about safety, but if you follow all the traffic laws and safety regulations, transportation through harsh weather conditions may be a little easier and safer.