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State Sen. Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, brought a modified utility vehicle to the grounds of the State Legislative Building in Raleigh earlier this year as part of his campaign for a bill that would expand the categories of off-road vehicles able to travel on streets. Jarvis, in the passenger seat, was joined by Kyle Wrightenberry of Ashe County. Gov. Roy Cooper signed Senate Bill 241 into law on Monday.

TRIAD — Enthusiasts who drive off-road modified utility vehicles now have more options to travel on streets after a bill sponsored by an area legislator was signed into law this week by Gov. Roy Cooper.

Senate Bill 241 expanded the categories of modified utility vehicles that can be considered street-legal if the drivers obtain insurance and a vehicle registration with the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles.

State Sen. Steve Jarvis, R-Davidson, primary sponsor of the bill, said that after legislators last year approved letting one category of modified utility vehicles travel on some streets, he heard from constituents in Davidson and Montgomery counties who wanted the categories of street-legal modified utility vehicles expanded.

The intent is to give people on camping, hunting or other outdoor trips an option to drive their utility vehicles to a store or other destination, Jarvis told The High Point Enterprise. The new law, which takes effect Oct. 1, will make them legal on a road with four or more lanes that has a speed limit of 35 mph or less, and the vehicles must have an emergency brake, mirrors and turn signals.

“This will help people visiting areas across the state,” he said.

The Oct. 1 effective date was chosen to give the DMV time to process vehicle registrations, Jarvis said.

North Carolina has become the 23rd state to broaden the category of modified utility vehicles that are street legal, Jarvis told The Enterprise.

pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEpaul