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Santaquin considers ATV regulations

SANTAQUIN — Belligerent all-terrain-vehicle riders about town may find that their number is up.

The Santaquin City Council is considering requiring all ATVs that hit a city street to have a city-issued registration number on their back ends so the vehicles' owners can be identified.

An ATV lacking that tag could be pulled over and the owner cited by police, under the proposal.

If the concept is approved, owners would be required to register their ATVs and buy the tags from the city.

Mayor Jim DeGraffenreid and council members said that when they have tried to slow down speeding ATV drivers, they've been greeted with obscene gestures.

ATVs can also disappear up a hillside trail where no police officer can follow, officials said. But if the machines carried a number, riders could be identified.

The idea is more generous than one submitted by a police officer. The council didn't identify the officer, who explained the risks of how young people were riding their machines on city streets in an e-mail, but he wanted to totally ban the vehicles in town.

"If we make it painful enough, maybe parents will take some responsibility," said Councilman Fil Askerlund, a self-described avid ATV rider.

"I don't know how to take the role of a parent as a city council," DeGraffenreid said.

The new ordinance may also require in-town riders to wear helmets. Utah law requires motorcycle drivers under age 18 to wear them.

Askerlund is working with police to write the ordinance.