Off road machines OK’d for county roads
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The Ringgold County board of supervisors recently passed an ordinance that allows operation of all-terrain vehicles (ATV) and off-road vehicles (UTV) on county roadways under certain circumstances.
At its most basic, ordinance RC19-162 allows operation of ATVs and UTVs on any gravel or hard surface roadway in Ringgold County under these provisions:
• pertains only to county roadways outside of city limits of any incorporated city;
• does not pertain to state roadways;
• vehicle must be properly registered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources;
• vehicle must display non-transferable county-issued identification decal;
• proof of liability insurance;
• operators must be a minimum of 16 years of age with a valid Iowa driver’s license.
Using wording from Iowa Code, the ordinance defines an ATV as a motorized vehicle with not fewer than three and not more than six non-highway tires, an engine no larger than 1,000 cubic centimeters, and dry weight of less than 2,200 pounds. The vehicle must also have a seat that would be saddled by the operator along with handlebars for steering.
Allowable UTVs are motorized vehicles with not fewer than four and not more than eight non-highway tires or rubberized tracks. Seating would be bucket or bench style with control achieved with a steering wheel or levers.
Three classifications of UTVs are determined by weight and width:
Type 1 – Dry weight up to 1,200 pounds and width 50 inches or less.
Type 2 – Dry weight up to 2,000 pounds and width 65 inches or less.
Type 3 – Dry weight more than 2,000 pounds and width more than 65 inches.
The ordinance prohibits operation of ATVs or UTVs under these conditions:
• operation exceeding posted speed limit or maximum 45 miles per hour;
• operation in a reckless manner;
• operation without white head light and red taillight;
• operation on private property without permission of the property owner;
• operation under influence of alcohol or drugs;
• operation on any designated riding area or trail unless designated as open to ATVs or UTVs.
• operation on any county conservation owned or managed properties, including all parks and trails;
• operation on designated snowmobile trails,
The ordinance allows exemptions for government purposes, agricultural purposes, public utilities, licensed engineers and licenses surveyors when used for professional purposes.
Violation of the ordinance would be considered a simple misdemeanor.
The ordinance went into effect September 26.