The sun sets on a backroad near Kalifornsky Beach Road on Dec. 21, 2021. New regulations allowing all-purpose vehicles on some roads go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

The sun sets on a backroad near Kalifornsky Beach Road on Dec. 21, 2021. New regulations allowing all-purpose vehicles on some roads go into effect Jan. 1, 2022. (Photo by Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

New rules kick in for all-purpose vehicles Saturday

ATVS, other all-purpose vehicles allowed on certain roads starting Jan. 1.

A new state policy allowing all-purpose vehicles on some public roads goes into effect Saturday.

The policy, announced by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, applies to public roads with speed limits of 45 mph unless otherwise prohibited by municipalities, which can opt-out of the relaxed rules.

Even with the new state policy in place, all-purpose vehicles will continue to be prohibited on all roads within the city limits of Kenai and Soldotna. Kenai Peninsula Borough Attorney Sean Kelley told the Clarion last month that the borough does not restrict the use of all-purpose vehicles on public roads, as the borough does not have criminal law enforcement or police protection powers.

The regulations drew safety concerns when first proposed earlier this year, but were give the final green light in October.

Soldotna City Manager Stephanie Queen said Wednesday that people operating all-purpose vehicles near Soldotna’s urban areas are encouraged to be cautious. Once the policy goes into effect, she said, the city will have a better understanding of how many people are taking advantage of the change and whether further action is needed on the city’s part.

“We’re all just going to learn the demand,” Queen said Wednesday.

The State of Alaska defines all-purpose vehicles as any self-propelled device that is on wheels or tracks that come in contact with the ground, such as four-wheelers, all terrain vehicles, utility terrain vehicles or side-by-sides. Snowmachines and hovercrafts are still prohibited under the new regulations.

Anyone operating an all-purpose vehicle is required to have a valid driver’s license, standard motor vehicle registration for the vehicle, front and rear license plates and insurance. Additionally, all vehicles must have a headlight, one rear-facing red light, one rear-facing red reflector and one rear-facing red brake light. The vehicle must also have brakes, a muffler, a carburetor and a throttle.

Like other vehicles, all-purpose vehicles are required to follow all traffic laws and can be pulled over by an Alaska State Trooper or local police officer. Drivers will not be required to wear helmets while operating all-purpose vehicles, but passengers will. If the vehicle has seat belts, all riders will be required to wear them.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at

More in News

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the Alaska House of Representatives on Saturday rejected the budget bill passed by the Senate earlier in the week. The bill will now go to a bicameral committee for negotiations, but the end of the legislative session is Wednesday.
House votes down Senate’s budget as end of session nears

State budget now goes to negotiating committee

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Candidate for Alaska’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives Tara Sweeney, a Republican, was in Juneau on Monday and sat down with the Empire for an interview. Sweeney said the three main pillars of her campaign are the economy, jobs and healthy communities.
Sweeney cites experience in run for Congress

GOP candidate touts her history of government-related work

One tree stands in front of the Kenai Post Office on Thursday, May 12, 2022, in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai taking down hazard beetle trees

The city hopes to leverage grant funds for most of the work

Former Alaska governor and current congressional hopeful Sarah Palin speaks with attendees at a meet-and-greet event outside of Ginger’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 14, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Palin brings congressional bid to Soldotna

The former governor took time Saturday to sign autographs and take pictures with attendees

In this October 2019 photo, Zac Watt, beertender for Forbidden Peak Brewery, pours a beer during the grand opening for the Auke Bay business in October 2019. On Sunday, the Alaska House of Representatives OK’d a major update to the state’s alcohol laws. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire File)
Graphic by Ashlyn O'Hara
Borough, school district finalizing $65M bond package

Efforts to fund maintenance and repairs at school district facilities have been years in the making

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Members of the House Majority Coalition spent most of Friday, May 13, 2022, in caucus meetings at the Alaska State Capitol, discussing how to proceed with a large budget bill some have called irresponsible. With a thin majority in the House of Representatives, there’s a possibility the budget could pass.
State budget work stretches into weekend

Sessions have been delayed and canceled since Wednesday

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Alaskans for Better Government members La quen náay Liz Medicine Crow, Richard Chalyee Éesh Peterson and ‘Wáahlaal Gidáak Barbara Blake embrace on the floor of the Alaska State Senate following the passage of House Bill 123, a bill to formally recognize the state’s 229 federally recognized tribes.
Tribal recognition bill clears Senate, nears finish line

Senators say recognition of tribes was overdue

The Alaska Division of Forestry’s White Mountain crew responds to a fire burning near Milepost 46.5 of the Sterling Highway on Tuesday, May 10, 2022, near Cooper Landing, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Cooper Landing Emergency Services)
Officials encourage residents to firewise homes

The central peninsula has already had its first reported fires of the season

Most Read