‘It’s a huge win’: ATV rider in Columbia County excited by new ordinance allowing off-road vehicles on some county highways

COLUMBIA COUNTY, Wis. — Most days, Ellen Pulver is out delivering mail on Columbia County roads in her large white van. However, she says you can sometimes find her on her UTV.

“It’s more wide open,” said Pulver. “You get to see more stuff, and you’re going a little slower.”

She’s a part of the Columbia County ATV/UTV Club on Facebook. She and her group have been pushing the county to allow their vehicles on certain highway roads for a while.

In March, the group got what they wanted.

“It is a huge win,” said Pulver. “We’ve been waiting.”

A new ordinance now states that ATVs and UTVs may now be operated on select Columbia County trunk highways.

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office has taken to Facebook to share some of the new rules that come with riding these vehicles on bigger roads.

“It took some time to get all the signs up and in place,” said Todd Horn. He’s a captain with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office. He said these vehicles are nothing new to the area, but that opening up select rural county highways to riders is new.

“Several municipalities have already enacted ordinances, and so this is not new to Columbia County to have ATV/UTV vehicles on roadways,” said Horn.

Not all county highways are open to riders; the county has published a map outlining where riders can take to the roads.

There are also rules limiting when and how riders can operate on county highways. ATVs and UTVs are not allowed on any county highway between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and speeds are limited to 35 mph.

The sheriff’s office is ready to make sure riders like Pulver have fun safely.

“It gives us the ability to go out from town to town,” said Pulver. “It’s a lot of fun.”

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