MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) reminds all-terrain (ATV) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTV) operators and motorists to safely share trails and roads as we enter a busy summer season.

Sharing these popular routes is a shared responsibility between ATV/UTV drivers and other motorists. In 2022, there were 92 ATV/UTV crashes on public roads and routes in Wisconsin, with 11 resulting in a fatality.

Motorists have seen more ATVs and UTVs on the roads since a 2018 law began allowing local communities to designate local roads with posted speed limits of 35 mph or slower as permissible routes for these multi-terrain machines to use. 

Everyone can work together to make 2023 a fun and safe year by following the tips below.

Safety Tips For Motorists:

  • When you approach ATV/UTVs on the road, slow down and be patient for a safe opportunity to pass. As ATV/UTVs are much wider than bicycles or motorcycles, motorists will need to ensure they can achieve a wide berth that many times can extend into an oncoming traffic lane.
  • Keep an eye out for ATV/UTV Route postings.
  • Remember, the law allows postings at territorial boundaries, so motorists might not see additional signage along individual roads.
  • Watch for riders, stay off your phone and avoid other distractions.

Safety Tips For ATV/UTV Riders:

  • If riding on a road, stick to authorized areas. Most highways and roads statewide remain off-limits. Check for posted signs or with local authorities to see if certain highways and roads are legally open. Always follow the posted speed limits. 
  • When on a trail, make sure you stay to the right, respect others on the trail, and stop at ALL stop signs. 
  • Travel at an appropriate speed and stay aware of your surroundings.
  • Stay as visible as possible, as some drivers might not expect to be sharing the road with ATVs.
  • Riders are required to operate headlight(s) when on or around roadways.
  • Wearing a helmet is always the best idea for riders of ALL ages. 
  • If you are in a UTV – wear your seatbelt. 
  • Most importantly, never consume alcohol or drugs before or during ATV and UTV operation.
  • If you were born after Jan. 1, 1988, make sure you have taken an ATV safety course. It’s your license to operate on routes or trails. 
  • Know before you go. Review all ATV/UTV laws on this DNR webpage.

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