All-Terrain Vehicles

SECTION I. AUTHORITY.  Under authority granted in 24 V.S.A. Chapter 59, 24 V.S.A. § 2291(4), 19 V.S.A. § 304, and 23 V.S.A. § 3510, the Selectboard of the Town of Brighton hereby adopts the following civil ordinance regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles within the town.

SECTION II. PURPOSE.  The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the health and safety of operators of all-terrain vehicles and of the residents of the Town and to protect the animals, property and environment of the Town.


A.  “All-terrain vehicle,” or “ATV,” means any non-highway recreational vehicle, 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 on a public highway shall be considered a motor vehicle , as defined in section 4 of this title, only for the purposes of those offenses listed in subdivision 2502(a)(1)(H), (N), (R),(U), (Y), (FF), (GG), II, and (AAA); (2)(A) and (B); (3)(A), (B), (C), and (D); (4)(A) and (B) and (5) of this title and as provided in section 1201 of this title. An ATV shall not include an electric personal assistive mobility device.

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

C.  “VASA” means the Vermont All-Terrain Vehicle Association.


A.  All ATVs must be registered, equipped and operated according to the requirements of 23 V.S.A. Chapter 31 and as stated herein.

B.  A valid VASA license plate must be attached to the front of the ATV.

C.  Designation of Roads Open:

The Selectboard may annually designate those town highways that are to be open to ATV traffic, and shall post those designated town highways.  If the Selectboard does not in a given year act to designate highways to be open for ATVs, the highways last previously designated as open under this ordinance shall be the highways that are open.

D.  All posted speed limits and traffic control devices apply to the operation of ATVs on Town highways except that ATV speed shall not exceed 25 miles per hour.

E.  ATVs must have one or more working headlights and a working red rear light, all of which must be on during operation, thirty minutes after sunset until thirty minutes before sunrise.  It must have a correct current number plate, brakes in good mechanical condition, a USFS qualified spark arrester and a muffler system that produces a noise level not to exceed 82 decibels (A scale) at 50 feet.

F.  ATVs being operated on town highways shall be operated with head lights on and in single file on right hand shoulder, with no passing of another moving ATV or motor vehicle allowed.

G.   All-terrain vehicles shall not be operated on sidewalks, public bike paths or hiking trails or on V.A.S.T. snowmobile trails, unless the property owner has signed a VASA Landowner Permission form.

H.   ATVs may not be operated within the Town between 9 P.M. and 7 A.M.  Monday through Sunday, and only between the dates of May 26 and October 1.

I.    ATVs shall not be operated on the Town’s recreation fields and beach, on the grounds of any town facilities, on the public green in the center of town, in any burial ground, on the school playground, or in the parking lot of any church in the Town.

J.   ATV operators must carry liability insurance on their ATV’s


First offense……………………………………… $50.00, waiver fee $35.00

Second offense…………………………………. $75.00, waiver fee $50.00

Third and each subsequent offense……… $100.00, waiver fee $75.00

SECTION VI. ENFORCEMENT.  This is a civil ordinance and shall be enforced by any certified police officer through the Judicial Bureau.

SECTION VII. 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 VIII. EFFECTIVE DATE.  This ordinance shall become effective 60 days after its adoption by the Brighton Selectboard and shall supersede and replace all previous ordinances regulating the time, manner, and location of operation of all-terrain vehicles.  If a petition is filed under 24 V.S.A. § 1973, that statute shall govern the taking effect of this ordinance.