OHV laws change and allow side-by-side vehicles on Kremmling streets

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file photo/Kim Cameron After October 6, OHVs will be officially legal on the streets of Kremmling. The Town of Kremmling passed a new ordinance during the town meeting on September 6, and it takes 30 days to go into effect. Several community members served on an OHV committee to develop the ordinance. Committee members were: Erik Woog, Shane Bodemann, Cale Smiley, Bob Overholt, Wes Howell and Scott Spade
file photo/Kim Cameron After October 6, OHVs will be officially legal on the streets of Kremmling. The Town of Kremmling passed a new ordinance during the town meeting on September 6, and it takes 30 days to go into effect. Several community members served on an OHV committee to develop the ordinance. Committee members were: Erik Woog, Shane Bodemann, Cale Smiley, Bob Overholt, Wes Howell and Scott Spade

by Erik Woog

Recently the town board passed a measure regarding OHV (off-highway vehicle) travel within the Town of Kremmling. This ordinance represents a great deal of effort put forth by committee members, the police chief, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), local businessmen, attorneys and citizens to come up with a workable law to accommodate OHV travel within Kremmling.

With involvement from so many directions, each stakeholder had a say in their respective concerns, for example Kremmling Chief of Police Scott Spade advocated for simple and clear enforceability, while the BLM stressed the importance of access to essential service providers for recreationalists.

The result was twofold, the first required alterations to the existing OHV ordinance and the second was the addition of an all-new ordinance pertaining specifically to utility type vehicles (UTV), neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV), and personal transportation vehicles (PTV) which are all essentially side-by-side vehicles. The modifications to the existing ordinance included a number of safety revisions, such as stopping at all stop signs as opposed to being required to stop at all intersections regardless of signage, which created a level of confusion for other motorists. All users are now instructed to obey the posted speed limits instead of the former 15mph limit. Additionally the designated routes have changed to include access to the Town Square on 3rd Street, as well as route changes to access fuel and other essential services (New route maps will be available at the Town Hall). The original ordinance had no clear provision for side-by-side vehicles, and for this reason was confusing for both users and law enforcement, this necessitated drafting a new ordinance specific to this type of vehicle.

So in a nutshell, the revised old ordinance applies to all terrain vehicles (ATV)and motorcycles only; the new ordinance applies to side by side type vehicles (Razors, Rangers, golf carts, etc…) The new measure will allow users open access to streets and roadways for normal transportation purposes, and are subject to model traffic code and all the same laws automobiles are. They are however prohibited from operating on the Highways except to directly cross them, but are otherwise allowed to travel freely. All such vehicles are required to be equipped with an audible warning device (horn etc.) and operators are required to use standard hand signals to indicate turning intentions. Drivers and passengers are also required to wear seat belts and eye protection if no windshield is present.

The remaining specific requirements and restrictions though numerous, are largely common sense, ie headlights, taillight, sound emissions, etc. Interested persons can obtain a copy of these laws at the Kremmling Town Hall. Overall, the effort produced a sensible series of guidelines that will serve both the users and the community well for years to come.