ATVs…Are You Road Legal?

There has been a lot of debate about the use of ATVs in farming – whether to wear a helmet or not (the answer is YES by the way) and whether you can carry passengers or not (the answer is, if there is one seat there should only be one bottom so NO in this case)…

In any college where we deliver our Introduction to Farm Safety Training and at any Young Farmers’ Club where they are enjoying the Farm Safe Curve module, one topic will always spark debate… ATVs and public roads!

With a lot of confusion surrounding this topic we caught up with Hannu Härkönen, Product Management Specialist at BRP, home of the branded Can-Am vehicles who explained exactly what is needed to ensure your ATVs and SSVs are road legal…

“All-Terrain (ATV) and Side by Side/Utility Vehicles (SSV/UTV) fall under two different categories; those that are non-road legal (also known as ‘international’ models by BRP), or road legal ‘EC approved’ (L or T category) models. In the UK, the ATV and SSV market is mostly made-up of non-road legal models, which are registered by the user with the DVLA as an ‘agricultural vehicle’ and used as a working machine for farming.

When used on the road, these vehicles do not require an MOT but they must be registered and licensed for road use, and have a number plate and third-party insurance.

They also need fully compliant lighting (lamp, reflector and rear markings, and other devices) if used after dark. If users are riding on a public road between sunrise and sunset they are not required to fit a lamp or reflector but they are required to make hand signals to indicate slowing down or a change in direction.

In addition, if the agricultural quad is capable of speeds exceeding 20mph, then a user is required to fit a speedometer and a horn, so that it is compliant with the Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) Regulations 1986 and the Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 1989.

The DVLA states that an agricultural vehicle can be used on more than one piece of land if it meets the following requirements:
· is used only for agriculture, horticulture or forestry work
· is used on public roads only when passing between different areas of land occupied by the same person
· does not travel further than 1.5 kilometres on a public road when passing between two such areas and has a nil licence in force in respect

“Here at BRP, we are at the forefront of design and development of road legal vehicles for the utility sector. We ensure that our Can-Am ATVs and SSVs are both compliant with the current legislation in place and provide the user with the power, performance, versatility and comfort they require.

“Users appreciate the total peace of mind when it comes to using their ATVs anywhere, including further afield. Riders of Can-Am road legal vehicles know that when they come from our factory they are fully compliant with the current regulations and offer the high performance and quality they have come to expect from our brand.”

To comply with road legal, there are two categories that are covered in the European regulatory framework; L and T. But since the new EU type-approval frameworks for ‘two- or three-wheel vehicles and quadricycles’ (L-category) and ‘agricultural and forestry vehicles’ (T-category) respectively came into force there has been a shift by BRP over to the T-category.

According to Hannu, the reason for this move is simple: “Once you start ticking the boxes to become compliant with the L category, there is a significant trade off in terms of performance as the vehicle has to meet the strict noise and emissions limits associated with the L-category regulations. In comparison, the T category allows us to offer high performing units with a performance comparable to the non-road legal models in terms of power output and top speed.”

The Government has recently completed its consultation about non-road legal ATVs and SSVs registered as agricultural vehicles and for those vehicles to require road-legal compliance (EC approval) for agri registration. The result was no change in the regulations but there will be – and there are already – advancements in the technology used on the vehicles utility users use on a daily basis.

Elise Auvachez-Millot, BRP director of public affairs and government relations, adds: “We know that there is a market for road legal vehicles in the UK, especially with the recent consultation of the Government on tractor registration. We have analysed and worked on the new European regulatory framework to be able to provide our customers with vehicles that are both compliant and have the power, performance, handling and ease of use they require to perform their jobs effectively.

“And BRP will not stop here with innovation and advanced technologies. Next year, Can-Am will introduce a range of Maverick Trail side-by-side vehicles also equipped with ABS. We constantly stay in tune on political and policy developments, and are monitoring Brexit and advocating for the continued alignment of UK technical regulations with EU legislation,” says Elise.

To learn more about Working with ATVs CLICK HERE

For more information on the range of Can-Am vehicles please CLICK HERE

stephanie_berkeley_zl4u2oa9ATVs…Are You Road Legal?