Motorists And ATV/UTV Drivers: Share The Road Safely



Motorists And ATV/UTV Drivers:
Share The Road Safely

The DNR reminds all ATV/UTV operators and motorists to safely share trails and roads as we enter a busy summer season. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

The summer season is picking up, and more all-terrain (ATV) and utility-terrain vehicle (UTV) enthusiasts will soon be out and about enjoying the trails and sharing the roads.

Motorists and ATV/UTV operators are reminded to safely share these spaces. ATVs and UTVs have been 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.



Remember Campfire Safety During Memorial Day Weekend

In an effort to reduce unattended campfires and promote good fire-safe practices, don’t be surprised if you see a yellow flag in your campfire ring at one of our state parks.

We’re introducing the ‘Fire Safety Flag’ project to help promote visitors taking a little extra effort to ensure their fire is completely out before leaving their campsite. The campaign aims to recognize that fire danger changes quickly and to never leave a fire unattended.

It is also an opportunity to teach children about the importance of fire prevention.

Visitors will visit their campsite and see a yellow flag in their fire ring. They read the flag, take note of the current fire situation and place the flag aside for their cozy yet safe campfire. Then, when ready to leave, the flag helps visitors remember to use plenty of water and make sure the fire is completely out and cold before placing that flag right back where they found it.

Making sure campfires are completely out is a simple step that helps prevent wildfires.

As a reminder, fire season is still lingering in the Northwoods. For the current fire danger throughout Wisconsin, visit WisBURN.

Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR




Lessons From Law Park

More than 25,000 people drive past the narrow strips of land surrounding Madison’s Monona Terrace every day. They know it as Law Park, but most don’t know it was once part of Lake Monona’s lakebed.

The vision to expand Lake Monona’s shoreline sprung from several key Madison figures. According to a historical marker at the park, James R. Law, Madison’s mayor from 1932 to 1943, planned to move the shoreline 200 feet into the lake to make way for the downtown park. And the area is poised for a change once again.

Learn more about the DNR’s role in the area’s past and future in the spring 2023 issue of Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine.

Photo Credit: Travel Wisconsin