Is There a Size or Age Limit to Operate a UTV?
The desire to operate a UTV isn’t unique to adults. It attracts children and young teens because they’re not yet able to drive a car.
UTVs come in all sizes and some might be more suitable for smaller and younger drivers, but is there a legal size or age limit to drive a UTV?
Legal Requirements to Operate a UTV in Utah
There is no federal law dictating what age or size is appropriate to drive a UTV. The laws surrounding it vary by state. Generally speaking, there are no restrictions on driving age on private property. The laws in place apply to riding in public areas, like on roads and highways. Many states set the legal age for driving an off-road vehicle in a public space at 16, but states may have additional rules and guidelines for drivers.
Utah’s UTV laws are similar to those in other states. Specifically, they state that UTV drivers between the ages of 8 and 15 must possess an off-highway vehicle education certificate before driving on public land. Children under the age of 8 may only operate an off-road vehicle in a specific set of circumstances, like in a sanctioned race where medical personnel are readily available. Additionally, the law requires that UTV drivers and passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet.
Recommendations from the Manufacturer
While states maintain the right to make laws governing the use of UTVs on public land, the laws do not apply to private property. The manufacturers of the UTVs do make recommendations for age and size limits of operators, and these can be useful in determining whether it’s safe for your child. Safety recommendations are important and they will always suggest appropriate safety gear for any size of rider. Regardless of manufacturer recommendations, you know your child best and parents are usually able to determine whether their child can safely handle a UTV or not.
It’s possible that your child will be ready to safely drive a UTV on their own, but aren’t ready to have young passengers with them. Much like driving a vehicle, other young people can easily be a distraction and prevent your child from making the best choices while driving. Use your best discretion when determining whether it is safe for your child to carry passengers with them on private property. Most states require that drivers be 18 years of age to carry passengers on public roads and highways.
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