After buying a cheap used four wheeler, ATV fans often fuel up their new powersports machine and ride the device around on their property. But, despite this common chain of events, the aforementioned tradition may soon come to an end. Find out why as we explore whether four wheelers should be banned from residential areas.


Where to Ride Cheap Used ATVs


For many, riding a childrens four wheeler on private property is acceptable if the event takes place during the day. Nevertheless, the widely accepted point of view is not shared with everyone. For example, a neighbor in North Smithfield, Rhode Island took offence to the ATV related activity when a neighbor decided to buy a kids four wheeler for their child.


To establish their point of view, the neighbor in question contacted the police multiple times and issued roughly four complaints. When this did not deter the noisy activity, the next course of action deemed necessary was to contact the Town Council. In response to the complaints, local lawmakers purposed a 300 foot residential ban on all terrain vehicles. 


Since everything outlined in the last paragraph happened in less than three weeks, here is a quick synopsis of the events that unfolded in October 2021.


  • A childrens 4 wheeler is bought at the start of October
  • Child uses four wheeler during the day while on the property of their parents
  • Neighbor calls the police to complain multiple times over the next two weeks
  • A residential ATV ban is proposed on October 18th


In response, over 560 citizens of North Smithfield signed a petition to abolish the residential ATV ban, and protested the amendment at the courthouse. Thanks to these efforts, the Town Council decided to postpone the vote on the residential UTV ban. 


Should a Residential ATV Ban Exist?


Without a doubt, gas powered ATVs are noisy. Although this tends to give all terrain vehicles a bad rap, the negative association is unwarranted when it comes to virtually silent electric adult UTVs. Furthermore, the audible vibrations generated by 4 wheelers are not the only source of loud, unrurally sounds in a neighborhood. 


For example, early risers can mow their lawn, use a leaf blower, or rev up their motorcycle at 7 in the morning without any legal repercussions. Taking these facts into consideration, a residential ATV ban does not appear to be warranted. That said, if the amendment is passed the Town Council plans to issue special exemptions for the following types of all terrain vehicles.


  • Those used to conduct yard work
  • UTVs or four wheelers utilized by farmers
  • Police all terrain vehicles 
  • Side by side, 4 x 4s, and other types of ATVs used by medical professionals
  • Four wheelers being loaded or unloaded into a larger vehicle


Given the wide range of possible exemptions, the residential all terrain vehicle ban would likely only affect kids and young adults riding childrens four wheelers, or those operating electric adult 4 wheelers for leisure.


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