Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: May 5, 2011
Sen. Don Barrington
Sen. Josh Brecheen
Sen. Frank Simpson
Legislators pleased utility vehicle bill signed into law
Barrington and Rep. Tommy Hardin were pleased when Governor
Mary Fallin signed Senate Bill 742 into law earlier this week allowing
for the regulated use of utility vehicles (UTVs) in certain instances
on public roadways.
“When the law was passed in 2004 regulating the use of golf
carts on public lands, utility vehicles and all-terrain vehicles
were mistakenly categorized together,” said Barrington, R-Lawton.
“These two types of vehicles serve different purposes. ATV’s
are used for recreation, while utility vehicles like golf carts
are used for work and basic transportation. Updating this law will
allow local officials to regulate these commonly-used vehicles.”
SB 742 puts UTVs in the same category as golf carts allowing for
their regulated use under certain circumstances. Currently, the
use of golf carts on public streets and highways is allowed within
state parks as well as municipalities that have approved ordinances
for their use. They also can be driven on these same roadways in
counties where the board of county commissioners has approved for
their use. They, however, can only be used on roads with a posted
speed limit of 25 mph or less, the road is located in an unincorporated
area, and there is appropriate signage cautioning motorists of the
possibility of golf cart traffic.
SB 742 was a request bill from the Texoma area. The need for the
new law came to the attention of Marshall County officials with
the growing popularity of utility vehicles around the Lake Texoma
area. Rep. Hardin, R-Madill, thanked them for bringing the UTV issue
to the attention of the legislature.
“Because utility vehicles look and serve such a similar
purpose as golf carts, citizens at Lake Texoma were driving the
UTVs around the park not realizing they were breaking the law and
the county sheriff’s office was forced to give them tickets,”
said Hardin. “UTV owners will now be able to use and enjoy
their vehicles without worrying about legal repercussions; and I
want to thank Senator Barrington for helping me get this through
the legislative process as well as everyone else who played a role
in getting this law changed.”
Barrington and Hardin along with coauthors Senators Josh
Brecheen and Frank
Simpson worked in collaboration with Congressman Tom Cole’s
office, the Corp of Engineers, Marshall County Commissioner’s
office, the Marshall County Sheriff department, the Oklahoma Highway
Lake Patrol and private citizens in drafting the legislation.
Sen. Brecheen, who represents Marshall County and the Lake Texoma
area, praised Marshall County officials for their leadership and
hard work in getting SB 742 to the Governor’s office.
“I want to commend Marshall County Commissioner Chris Duroy
for his leadership in bringing this issue to the attention of the
Legislature,” said Brecheen, R-Coalgate. “It’s
because of Representative Hardin and Commissioner Duroy’s
efforts that we’ve been able to fix this problem. They have
fought passionately for this issue, and I applaud their dedication
to helping right a wrong for our constituents and the citizens of
A utility vehicle is defined as a vehicle powered by an internal
combustion engine, manufactured and used exclusively for off-highway
use, equipped with seating for two or more people and a steering
wheel and which travels on four or more wheels.
“This bill will be a tremendous benefit to homeowners in
the Lake Texoma area. This will allow for the safe and legal operation
of privately owned utility vehicles,” said Simpson, R-Ardmore.
SB 742 became effective upon the Governor’s approval.
For more information, contact:
Sen. Newberry: (405) 521-5600