ATV & Snow Machine Information

This information is provided as a Public Safety Announcement to prevent unnecessary enforcement actions

The City of Bethel and the Bethel Police Department advises citizens of safety issues relating to the operation of off-road vehicles within the City.

 

State Road Rules

Beginning Jan 1, 2022. ATV's (now under the definition of APV, All Purpose Vehicle) will be allowed on state roads with a speed limit of 45mph or less. This does not include snow-machines or hovercrafts.

We will try and provide updates of any changes, amendments, or city ordinances that may or may not be referenced here.
Here is what you need:

-You need a driver's license.
-You need to register your APV with the DMV (standard registration, no special registration required.)
-You will need to put those license plates on the Back
-You must carry full liability insurance
-Passengers still require a helmet, drivers are still exempt
-You must have a working head-light, tail-light/brake light, and if you do not have turn signals you must use hand signals.
-Yes, you must still follow all other laws and regulations that full-size vehicles do.
 

 City of Bethel Ordinance

 

A. “All-terrain vehicle” (ATV) means a vehicle with three (3) or more low-pressure, flotation-type tires, as designed by the manufacturer or altered, to be used as an off-road recreational vehicle (AS 45.27.390).

B. “Low-speed vehicles” means a motor vehicle that has four (4) wheels, that was manufactured to be capable of propelling itself and achieving a minimum speed of twenty (20) miles an hour.

C. “Snow machines” means a motorized vehicle with a gross vehicle weight under one thousand three hundred (1,300) pounds propelled by a track system designed to move a person over snow or ice, and includes a snowmobile (AS 45.27.390). [Ord. 16-31 § 2.]

 

A. Snow machines are permitted to operate on city streets subject to the following rules and regulations:

1. Snow machines must comply with all city of Bethel and state of Alaska traffic laws and ordinances.

2. Snow machines must be registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles and proof of registration must be displayed in the designated location on the vehicle.

3. Snow machines must have liability insurance, and proof of insurance must be presented upon demand.

4. While driving on a city road, snow machines:

a. Must stay as far right as feasible, in the direction of traffic, except when crossing the road;

b. May not pass other moving vehicles;

c. May not weave in and out of traffic;

d. May not operate in any other manner that may be considered careless, reckless, or negligent.

5. The speed limit for a snow machine on a city road is fifteen (15) miles per hour.

6. The speed limit in a parking lot or an area congested with pedestrians is five (5) miles per hour. [Ord. 16-31 § 2.]

A. ATVs are permitted to operate on a public roadway within city limits under the following conditions:

1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, ATVs must comply with all city of Bethel and state of Alaska traffic laws and ordinances.

2. ATVs must be registered through the Division of Motor Vehicles and proof of registration must be displayed in the designated location on the vehicle.

3. Vehicles must have liability insurance, and proof of insurance must be presented upon demand.

4. While driving on a public roadway within city limits, ATVs:

a. Must stay on the correct side of the lane of traffic except when crossing the road;

b. May not pass other moving vehicles;

c. May not weave in and out of traffic;

d. May not operate in any other manner that may be considered careless, reckless, or negligent;

e. Must be under one thousand five hundred (1,500) pounds (including cargo);

f. Must wear a helmet when operating an ATV;

g. Must not carry passengers unless the ATV was designed by the manufacturer to carry passengers.

5. The speed limit in a parking lot or an area congested with pedestrians is five (5) miles per hour.

6. The operator must have a valid driver’s license. [Ord. 22-02 § 2, 2022; Ord. 16-31 § 2.]

Operators of ATVs and snow machines on city roads must be eighteen (18) years of age or older unless:

A. The minor operator has a valid driver’s license; or

B. The minor operator is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or other person at least twenty-one (21) years of age who possesses a valid Alaska driver’s license within one hundred (100) feet or at a reasonably safe distance depending on the conditions of the terrain.

C. Minor operators must travel the shortest reasonable distance along city roads to get to/from destination or a trail head.

D. Minors must wear a helmet which meets safety standards set by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. [Ord. 16-31 § 2.]

 

Please feel free to call and ask an Officer for any clarifying questions. 907-543-3781.