Question: I have been trying to find out what the laws say about using All Terrain Vehicles on public roads and in right of ways. Not the safety requirements, just using them on roads. Thanks!
ANSWER: Currently, state law does not prohibit ATV’s from being operated on city or township roads. Local political subdivisions can enact ordinances to regulate the use of ATV’s on public lands, waters, roadways that are under their jurisdiction. Remember, you do need a driver’s license if the ATV is operated on a roadway that is not part of an ATV trail. Local political subdivisions (city’s, town’s) can enact ordinances to regulate the use of ATV’s on public lands, waters, roadways that are under their jurisdiction, however, Class 2 ATV’s can be operated along county state-aid and county highways as stated in MN statute 84.928 below (sections used with permission of the Office of the Revisor of Statutes):
(MN Statute 84.92 DEFINITIONS Subd.8All-terrain vehicle or vehicle: “All-terrain vehicle” or “vehicle” means a motorized flotation-tired vehicle of not less than three low pressure tires, but not more than six tires, that is limited in engine displacement of less than 960 cubic centimeters and includes a class 1 all-terrain vehicle and class 2 all-terrain vehicle. Subd.10. Class 2 all-terrain vehicle- “Class 2 all-terrain vehicle” means an all-terrain vehicle that has a total dry weight of 1,000 to 1,800 pounds)
84.928 Operation Requirements; Local Regulation.Sub.1.Operation on roads and rights-of-way.
(c) A person may operate a class 2 all-terrain vehicle within the public road right-of-way of a county state-aid or county highway on the extreme right-hand side of the road and left turns may be made from any part of the road if it is safe to do so under the prevailing conditions, unless prohibited under paragraph (d) or (f). A person may operate a class 2 all- terrain vehicle on the bank or ditch of a public road right-of-way on a designated class 2 all-terrain vehicle trail.
(d) A road authority as defined under section 160.02, subdivision 25 may after a public hearing restrict the use of all-terrain vehicles in the public road right-of-way under its jurisdiction.
(f) The commissioner may limit the use of a right-of-way for a period of time if the commissioner determines that use of the right-of-way causes: (1) degradation of vegetation on adjacent public property; (2) siltation of waters of the state; (3) impairment or enhancement to the act of taking game; or (4) a threat to safety of the right-of-way users or to individuals on adjacent public property.
If you have any questions for future columns concerning motor vehicle traffic in Minnesota, please send your questions to: “ASK A TROOPER” c/o Sgt. Curt S. Mowers MN State Patrol P.O. Box 644 Brainerd, MN 56401 or email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask A Trooper in the subject line. Questions are edited.