SECTION 1. AUTHORITY.  Under authority granted in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, 24 V.S.A. §§ 2291(2),(4), and 23 V.S.A. § 3510, the Selectboard of the Town of Franklin hereby adopts the following civil ordinance regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles within the town.


SECTION 2. PURPOSE.  The purpose of this Ordinance is to promote and protect the public health, safety and welfare of the Town, and to preserve residents’ rights to quiet enjoyment of homes and properties by regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles (“ATVs”) within the Town.




A.   “All-terrain vehicle,” or “ATV,” means any non-highway recreational vehicle including side-by-sides, except snowmobiles, having no less than two low pressure tires (10 pounds per square inch, or less), not wider than 64 inches with two-wheel ATVs having permanent, full-time power to both wheels, and having a dry weight of less than 1,700 pounds, when used for cross-country travel on trails or on any one of the following or a combination thereof: land, water, snow, ice, marsh, swampland and natural terrain. An ATV shall not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.


B.   “Enforcement Officer” means any law enforcement officer certified by the Vermont criminal justice training council.  The Constable of the Town of Franklin and/or any person duly appointed by the Selectboard shall have the authority to act as an Issuing Municipal Official to issue and pursue before the Judicial Bureau a municipal complaint.


C.   “Operate” includes any attempt to operate and shall be construed to cover all matters and things connected with the presence and use of all-terrain vehicles within the town whether they be in motion or at rest.


D.   “Operator” must be 12 years of age or older and that an operator under 16 years of age must be under the direct supervision of a person 18 years of age or older and must hold a valid driver’s license.


E.   Other definitions found in 23 V.S.A. § 3501 are incorporated herein by reference.


SECTION 4. TOWN HIGHWAYS OPENED. Pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 3506, all Town highways that are not being maintained and plowed by the Town for use by motor vehicles during the snow season are open to ATV traffic.  All Town Highways are open to ATV use as noticed by said ordinance except by the order of the State of Vermont, ATV’s may not be operated on Vermont Route #120 (including Main Street in Franklin) and Vermont Route #236 (State Park Road). 





SECTION 5. SPEED LIMITS AND TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICES. All posted speed limits and traffic control devices on Town highways shall apply to the operation of ATVs. Notwithstanding the above, no person shall drive an ATV on a public right of way at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent under the conditions, having regard to the actual and potential hazards there existing. In every event, speed shall be controlled as necessary to avoid collision with any person, vehicle, bicycle, ATV, or other object on or adjacent to the ATV trail.


SECTION 6. TIME OF OPERATION. ATVs may not be operated within the Town between the hours of 9:00 pm and 8:00 am. 


SECTION 7. EQUIPMENT & SAFETY.  ATV’s operated on town roads pursuant to this Ordinance shall have the following properly working equipment: one or more headlights, a red rear light, brakes in good mechanical condition, a United States Forest Service qualified spark arrester and an effective muffler system.  Lights shall be on during vehicle operation from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise.  All operators and passengers shall at all times while operating said ATV, wear a DOT approved safety helmet.


SECTION 8. LICENSE, REGISTRATION, INSURANCE.  ATV’s operated on town roads pursuant to this Ordinance shall be currently registered by the State of Vermont in accordance with 23 V.S.A. §3502.  A registration does not constitute a license to operate an ATV on public or private lands.  ATV’s must have current liability insurance coverage to operate on town roads.  The Town of Franklin accepts no liability for the operation of ATV’s on Franklin town roads as set forth in this Ordinance.


SECTION 9. AGRICULTURAL USE.  ATV’s operated for agricultural purposes may be operated not closer than three (3) feet from the traveled portion of any highway for the purpose of traveling within the confines of a farm.


SECTION 10.  SINGLE FILE; RACING.  Where ATV travel on Town highways is permitted, such travel shall be single file, with headlights on during the hours set forth in section 6 above. No racing shall be allowed.


SECTION 11.  OPERATION ON PUBLIC PROPERTY AND CEMETERIES. ATVs shall not be operated on the following public property: village green in the center of town, highway garage lot/land, recreation fields.  Pursuant to 23 V.S.A. § 3506(10), ATVs shall not be operated in any burial ground in the Town.


SECTION 12. PENALTIES.  The Enforcement Officer is authorized to recover civil penalties for operation of an ATV in excess of the posted speed limit as specified in Town of Franklin Road/Traffic Ordinance and in the State of Vermont’s Judicial Bureau Penalty Schedule.


Waiver fee:  An Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to recover a waiver fee, in lieu of a civil penalty, in the following amount, for any person who declines to contest a municipal complaint and pay the waiver fee:

·       First offense                     -           $100

·       Second offense                 -           $200

·       All subsequent offenses  -           $300

            Offenses shall be counted on a calendar year basis.



Civil penalties:  An Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to recover civil penalties in the following amounts for each violation:

·       First offense                     -           $200

·       Second offense                 -           $400

·       All subsequent offenses  -           $500

            Offenses shall be counted on a calendar year basis.


SECTION 13. ENFORCEMENT.  The violation of this ordinance shall be a civil matter which may be enforced in the Vermont Judicial Bureau in accordance with the provisions of 24 V.S.A. §§ 1974a and 1977 et seq. For purposes of enforcement in the Judicial Bureau, any Enforcement Officer shall have authority to issue tickets and may be the appearing officer at any hearing.


SECTION 14.  OTHER LAWS. This Ordinance is in addition to all other ordinances of the Town and all applicable laws of the State of Vermont. All ordinances or parts of ordinances, resolutions, regulations, or other documents inconsistent with the provisions of this ordinance are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency. 


SECTION 15. SEVERABILITY.  If any section of this Ordinance is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such finding shall not invalidate any other part of this Ordinance.


SECTION 16. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after its adoption by the Selectboard. If a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A. § 1973, that statute shall govern the taking effect of this Ordinance.


Date of adoption by the Selectboard: _November 14, 2018______________



Adoption History


1.   Agenda item at regular Selectboard meeting held on _8/15/18 and 9/19/18___.

2.   Read and approved at regular Selectboard meeting on _11/14/18____ and entered in the minutes of that meeting which were approved on ______________.

3.   Posted in public places on __11/15/2018_____.

4.   Notice of adoption published in the _County Courier__ newspaper on __11/22/2018_ with a notice of the right to petition.

5.   Other actions [petitions, etc.]