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Bicycle, ATV, and Golf Cart Ordinances

August 29, 2017
by Anna Veltri , Emmetsburg News

As we continue the Emmetsburg ordinance series, today's ordinance column addresses chapters 75, 76, and 77 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances. These chapters include regulations on All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs), snowmobiles, bicycles, and golf carts in the city of Emmetsburg.

While it is not winter yet, the season is quickly approaching. The first snowfall will happen before we know it, which means it will be time for snowmobiles. Snowmobiles may be operated upon streets that have not been plowed during the winter season. "In addition, snowmobiles may be operated on plowed public streets and alleys solely for the purpose of using the most direct roadway for ingress to and egress from the city, but no snowmobiles shall be driven on such streets or alleys for entertainment or pleasure." A snowmobiler may not U.S. Highway 18 and Iowa Highway 4 within the City limits.

If a snowmobiler does operate within the City there are various locations that are off-limits: trails, parks and other city land, and public sidewalks and parking.

ATVs may only be operated on streets in accordance with Section 321.234A of the Code of Iowa. ATVs may not be operated on U.S. Highway 18 and Iowa Highway 4 within the City limits. It is against the Code of Ordinances to drive an ATV on trails, parks and City-owned property, and sidewalks

The owner of an ATV or snowmobile is liable for any injury that occurs due to negligent operation of the vehicle. The owner is also liable if someone is injured while operating the vehicle even if the owner is not driving it.

Finally, snowmobiles shall not be operated during a publicized thaw ban.

Chapter 76 of the Emmetsburg Code of Ordinances addresses Bicycle Regulations. These regulations apply whenever a bicycle is ridden upon a street or public path set aside exclusively for the use of bicycles.

A person that is riding a bicycle upon the road must follow the laws of traffic. If a cyclist dismounts from the bike, then he is subject to all regulations of a pedestrian. Cyclists in the street must ride no more that two abreast, and they must ride as close to the right hand-side of the roadway.

If a cyclist is emerging from an alley or a driveway, it is the biker's responsibility to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and if they enter onto the roadway, the cyclist must yield the right-of-way to all vehicles approaching on the roadway. While operating a bicycle, a person shall not carry any package, article, or bundle that prevents him from keeping at least one hand on the handlebars.

A cyclist shall not ride on any roads or locations that have posted signs prohibiting cycling. A person on a bicycle must yield the right-of-way to the pedestrian while on a sidewalk; he must also give an audible signal before passing the pedestrian.

A person shall not ride his bicycle unsafely such as zigzagging, stunting, speeding, or otherwise as to disregard the safety of the operator or others.

A bicycle is required certain safety equipment in order to operate in the town of Emmetsburg. A person must have a lamp on the front of the cycle if he will be operating at night. Brakes are absolutely required on a bike as to enable the operator to "make the braked wheel skid on dry, level, clean pavement."

If a person is found in violation of any of these regulations, then he risks the bicycle being impounded for up to thirty days.

In the City of Emmetsburg, a person may operate a golf cart upon the street by a driver possessing a valid driver's license; however, golf carts may not be operated upon U.S. Highway 18 or State Highway 4. It is permissible to drive across these roads to reach their location. A golf cart may only be operated between sunrise and sunset.

As a reminder, no motorized vehicles are prohibited on the Five Island Trail. The trail is open to walkers and cyclists.



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