NEBRASKA CITY – Interest in registering ATVs and UTVs is growing in Nebraska City, since the city council passed an ordinance that allows the vehicles on most streets.
The city will not officially begin to register vehicles until after Nov. 21, but officials say there have been numerous requests for information. There is a $100 charge for a 14-month registration.
City Administrator Grayson Path said there has been citizen interest since the state Legislature allowed for low-speed vehicles to be made street legal in 2012.
Path: “There’s been some local citizens who are interested in being able to use their UTVs and ATVs, mostly the UTV crowd, the bigger vehicles. They wanted to use them in town instead of traditional vehicles.”
UTV driver Teresa Schlange said the vehicles are fun and safe and offer great fuel economy.
She said they range in price from $10,000 to $20,000 and offer up to four seats, heating, radio and a dump box. She said they are popular work vehicles because they can carry a light load.
Path said the ordinance regulates both vehicles and drivers.
Path: “Trying to make sure people follow the rules of the road. Make sure people are going to wear either helmets or safety belts, whichever the vehicle is set up with, lights, flag.”
Drivers must be at least 18 years old. The council extended the hours of operation to allow operation prior to sunrise.
The vehicles can not be operated on Fourth Corso and 11th Street. Path said they can cross the former state highways, but can’t go up and down them.
Path: “And of course, Central, the council decided that, you know, it’s already too congested for our town’s scale to allow these vehicles down there, so we just wanted to keep it simple and keep it to regular cars and, of course, motorcycles too.”
The ordinance imposes penalties for violations.
On a first offense for an unregistered vehicle, the driver is prohibited for a year, there is a fine of $50 and impoundment of the vehicle until it is registered or 14 days.
On a second offense, there is a five-year ban and 30-day impoundment.