Archive for Wednesday, August 11, 2004

City OKs revised anti-ATV ordinance

August 11, 2004

Tonganoxie is taking a new direction on all-terrain vehicles.

At Monday's city council meeting, council members unanimously approved a revised city ordinance regarding non-licensed motor vehicles.

The ordinance applies to all-terrain vehicles, go carts, mini bikes and motorized scooters. It prohibits the use of these vehicles on highways, city streets, alleys, public parking lots, right-of-ways, parks, school property and on property owned by the city.

This reverses a 2-1 vote made by the city council in June that would have outlawed the use of such vehicles on private property within the city limits, as well as on public property.

At the time of the June vote, Mayor Dave Taylor was skeptical as to whether use of the vehicles could be forbidden on private property.

"I don't think it's constitutional," the mayor said at the June 14 meeting.

Since then, city attorney Mike Kelly, acting chief of police John Putthoff and council members have revised the ordinance, which takes effect today.

"It's gone through some remodeling with the help of the police department and the members of the council," Kelly said.

And, since discussion began buzzing about the ordinance, the use of the vehicles seems to have decreased.

"It's my understanding that we've had less of a problem since this issue came up a couple of months ago," Kelly said.

Some exceptions would be allowed for the operation of the unlicensed vehicles:

  • Federal, county or city agencies, or persons contracting with the federal, county or city may be allowed to use such vehicles.
  • No non-licensed motor powered vehicle can be operated on public property between sunset and sunrise unless equipped with lights such as are required for motorcycles.
  • The chief of police may issue a permit to operate the vehicles on city streets and right of way to commercial operators if the commercial activity requires their use. In such instance, the operator would be required to have a valid driver's license, to have liability insurance for the vehicle and to have a legitimate business purpose.
  • The vehicles would be permitted on the Leavenworth County Fairgrounds during the county fair upon the approval of the fair board. Again, a valid driver's license is required.
  • Whether they're operated on public or private property within the city limits, the vehicles must not create excess noise.
  • Operators could obtain a permit from the city council for use during special events, such as during citywide parades.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.