Starke Commissioners Continue Work on Utility Vehicle Ordinance

The Starke County Commissioners have still not made an official decision regarding the drafting of an ordinance to allow utility vehicles on county roads. The commissioners recently passed a policy allowing battery operated golf carts to be driven on county roads, but chose to separate gasoline powered vehicles like John Deere Gators and Kawasaki Mules from the policy.

County attorney Marty Lucas had been researching policies from other jurisdictions and hoped to have a draft recommendation for the commissioners to consider when they met on Monday, but told the commissioners that he ran into an issue with state law regarding what the county can require regarding the use of utility vehicles. Lucas said the state statute prevents the county from requiring licenses in order to operate these vehicles on county roads, but said it may be possible that they can enact an age requirement.

The intent of the proposed ordinance, according to the commissioners, is to allow utility vehicles with steering wheels, roll bars and seatbelts that are properly insured to be operated on roads while still restricting all-terrain vehicles like 3- and 4-wheelers.

Lucas will return with an update at the next meeting on Dec. 16.