It is unclear to me why there is any debate over UTVs on public streets and highways – they are illegal. The state is subject to federal law, and the county is subject to state law, and so on down the line. The United States Department of Transportation through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration issues motor vehicle safety standards as directed by Congress: UTVs do not meet these standards and are therefore illegal to operate on public streets or highways. Even the manufacturers will tell you this — and that is the end of the discussion, folks. Local car rental agents, with the apparent blessing of the state, have managed to put Moab in the awkward position of violating federal law. Just like three-wheelers, windsurfers, hula hoops and beanie babies, UTVs will come and go as a fad. The “current UTV struggle” is 100% self-inflicted by a community that allowed a few rental agents to transform the entire city into a shrine to motor vehicles at the expense of human-scale aesthetics and livability. Moab does not need UTV rental businesses to survive and the city has the power to end the noise, pollution and lawless driving today by simply taking a stand: off-road means OFF-ROAD. The legal liability alone for strapping untrained rental customers into these machines and turning them loose on the road likely extends beyond the rental agency to the local community for refusing to enforce established motor vehicle laws. There are simply no good reasons or outcomes from allowing these vehicles on city streets or highways. Rent them for off-road use only if you must rent them at all.

Will Holoman,

Castle Valley