Kittitas County, WA – 07/02/2021 – Summer, and especially busy holiday weekends, see an increase in the use of off-road and other non-traditional passenger vehicles, including ‘side-by-sides’ or UTV’s. The Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office urges users to know and follow the laws governing the use of UTV’s on public roads.Washington State law permits the use of UTV’s, or ‘side-by-sides’, on certain public roads when local governments allow. In 2014, Kittitas County Commissioners passed such an ordinance with input from the Sheriff’s Office and our County’s Department of Public Works. UTV’s are allowed on roads in the unincorporated county (i.e., outside city limits) with a speed limit of 35 mph or lower, if they meet the safety and equipment standards laid out in law RCW 46.09.442. This infographic shows these requirements.
To operate a UTV on any public road you must have a current driver’s license and the UTV must display a ‘Restricted Vehicle’ license plate.
Anyone who operates a UTV is responsible to know where they can legally do so. Some unincorporated towns in Kittitas permit UTV’s on public roads of 35mph or lower, but the City of Roslyn does not. Licensed or not, UTV’s are not legal to drive on State Routes, Interstates, or Forest Service Roads in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. Contact the Cle Elum Ranger Station of the USFS at 509-852-1100 for information on which roads and trails do allow UTV’s.
Sharing the roads with UTV’s is still pretty new, so we urge everyone–drivers of UTV’s and normal passenger vehicles alike–to exercise caution and be patient with one another. The equipment and licensing requirement laws for UTV’s on public roads can be reviewed here: https://app.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=46.09Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us
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