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Lee County revisiting allowing UTVs on county roads

DIXON – The county will once again be considering allowing nonhighway vehicles on county roads.

The Blackhawk Trail Riders Club approached the county 5 years ago about approving an ordinance letting UTVs ride on county roads, but the vote stalled following concerns about safety and liability, and potential state legislation at the time that would have regulated UTV riding on roads with speed limits of 55 mph or less.

The club got most townships on board with allowing the vehicles, but members needed county roads to create a connected trail.

The overall goal is to connect a trail from the Sauk Valley to Wisconsin, which has an abundant trail system.

Former County Board member Steve Dilger and club member Mark Imfeld recently returned to the board to revisit an ordinance, which will be up for a vote Sept. 16.

According to the proposal, UTVs would be allowed on county roads from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., and riders must be at least 16 with a driver’s license.

Riders must obey the Illinois Vehicle Code. Vehicle requirements include brakes, seat belts, steering wheel, horn, tires, rearview mirror, windshield or the driver must wear safety glasses or helmet without one, reflectorized warning signs in front and rear, headlights and taillights, brake lights, and turn signals.

Permits would be $100 for the first year and $50 for following years. Violating the ordinance could result in fines ranging from $100 to $750.

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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