Question: Is it ever legal to drive my four wheeler or snowmachine on the road?
Answer: Yes, but only under limited circumstances. 13AAC 02.455 states that if you are traveling in a ditch and come to a river or other barrier, you can drive on the roadway or bridge to get across only if you drive on the extreme right hand side and do not interfere with other traffic. It also states that if the road is impassible due to snow depth or other natural conditions, you can drive on it with your ATV.
If you are traveling in a ditch or on a trail and come to a road crossing, you can cross the road. You must first come to a complete stop, yield to any traffic on the road and make sure that there is good visibility from the road in both directions so traffic can see you. You can then cross to the other side by traveling at a right angle to the roadway.
You also may travel alongside a roadway, but don't get too close. You cannot legally get closer than three feet from the nearest edge of the roadway, but I hope you would stay farther from the road than that. When driving at night next to a roadway, you have to drive on the right side of the road.
Remember that none of these laws allow you to trespass on private property (including driveways) while you are riding, and the laws apply to gravel and residential roads as well as main streets. Also, any parent who allows their child to violate these laws can face a mandatory court appearance.
If you have questions that you would like to ask a trooper, please send them to: Alaska State Troopers, 4060 Heath St., Homer, AK 99603. Or you can e-mail them to Chad_Goeden@dps.state.ak.us. The Alaska State Troopers remind you to always wear your seat belt. It's the law.
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