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Motorists and ATV/UTV riders urged to share the road safely

Published by Central Office May 21, 2019

Contact(s): Joanne Haas, DNR Law Enforcement, 608-209-8147, Joanne.Haas@Wisconsin.gov

Stay alert as the weather warms and riding conditions improve

[EDITOR'S ADVISORY: This news release is being issued jointly with the Wis. Dept. of Transportation.]

MADISON --Spring and summer in Wisconsin are great times to take the family on a road trip or hop on an all-terrain or utility-terrain vehicle (ATV/UTV) for some outdoor fun. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Department of Natural Resources are asking everyone - no matter what they're operating - stay attentive, patient and safe.

ATV/UTV registration grew 19 percent over the past five years, totaling 396,611 at the end of 2018. Motorists and riders could be sharing the road more frequently in some areas. State law allows municipalities to designate their roadways as ATV/UTV routes. In addition, a municipality may authorize the operation of ATVs/UTVs on any highway within its territorial boundary that has a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

"ATVs, UTVs, cars and trucks offer different driving experiences, but one factor holds consistently true - no matter what you drive, even a momentary distraction can create a tragedy," said WisDOT Secretary-Designee Craig Thompson. "It's important that we all look out for one another."

WisDOT published a website for riders and local officials who are interested in learning more about the 2017 law changes and requirements to establish ATV routes within their jurisdiction. The website also contains a downloadable flier [PDF] for anyone who'd like to encourage motorists and riders to share the road. The DNR publishes additional resources to assist ATV and UTV riders with safety courses, vehicle registration and knowledge of the law.

"Whether you're behind the wheel or behind a set of handlebars - think safety," said DNR Recreation Safety and Outdoor Skills Captain April Dombrowski. "ATV/UTV riding is among our state's favorite recreational activities in the summer months. Whether you are riding for work or for fun, stay safe and be responsible."

Safety tips for motorists:

Safety tips for ATV/UTV riders:

Last Revised: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Contact information

Need an expert? Contact the Office of Communications.

The Office of Communications connects journalists with DNR experts on a wide range of topics. For the fastest response, please email DNRPress@Wisconsin.gov and the first available Communications Specialist will respond to you.

For more information about news and media, contact:
Sarah Hoye
Director Of Communications
Office Of The Secretary