Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Auto-Livestock Collisions - Utah Legal Conventions

Contact phone number: 801-538-7137

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Bureau Chief
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Ask: Are both sides of the road fenced? (This is usually part of investigating officer's report.)

Utah Code 47-2-2 "Open Range" defined. The term "open range" means all land not privately owned, and includes all roads, outside of private inclosures, used by the public, whether the same have been formally dedicated to the public or not.

Yes (open range) Past court history and tradition - auto owner pays for damage to car and cow - must yield to livestock in open range situation.

If different result is wanted, must be determined in civil court.

No (not open range) Refer to Utah Law 41-6-38 (livestock on highway). Note: Livestock on high-way. No presumption of negligence by owner. Must be proven in civil court. Usually resolved by insurance dealing with wrecked auto, and livestock owner dealing with injured cow.

41-6-38. Livestock on highway - Restrictions - Collision, action for damages.

(1) A person owning or in possession or control of any livestock may not willfully or negligently permit any of the livestock to stray or remain unaccompanied by a person in charge or control of the livestock upon a highway, both sides of which are adjoined by property which is separated from the highway by a fence, wall, hedge, sidewalk, curb, lawn, or building. This subsection does not apply to range stock drifting onto any highway in going to or returning from their accustomed ranges.

(2) A person may not drive any livestock upon, over, or across any highway during the period from half an hour after sunset to half an hour before sunrise, without keeping a sufficient number of herders with warning lights on continual duty to open the road to permit the passage of vehicles.

(3) In any civil action brought by the owner, operator, or occupant of a motor vehicle or by their personal representatives or assignees, or by the owner of the livestock for damages caused by collision with any domestic animal or animals on a highway, there is no presumption that the collision was due to negligence on behalf of the owner or the person in possession of livestock.