There is a house bill introduced here in Colorado that would allow limited ATV use on public roads. The bill is HR 1264 and it has passed the House Transportation Committee and is headed to House Appropriations.
The bill would authorize ATVs and OHVs to be operated on the road with the following limitations:
- The rider must be licensed;
- The vehicle must be registered with the department of revenue;
- The vehicle must be insured;
- The vehicle cannot be driven on a road with a speed limit greater than 45 miles per hour except to cross the road;
- The vehicle cannot be operated on a limited-access highway or state highway;
- The vehicle cannot be driven on paved roads when the local authorities prohibit it;
- The driver cannot carry more people than the vehicle is designed for;
- The vehicle cannot exceed 45 miles per hour;
- The vehicle must meet equipment standards including: Seats, seatbelts, brakes, stoplights, red reflectors, mirrors, and headlamps.
The bill would also allow counties and cities to prohibit ATV and OHV use on certain roads. For a one time fee of $46.00 plus the annual Colorado State Parks permit I see this as a good thing for Colorado. If all of the 120,000+ registered ATV and OHV users in the state were to license (licensing would be optional) their vehicles that would be over $5,500,000.00 added to the Colorado state budget.
I’ve heard this type of legislation has passed in other states with favorable results. Around here if you don’t get to some trail heads early you will not find a parking place and end up parking further away. Under the current law you are suppose to push your ATV or OHV to the trail head from your haul vehicle.
The only downside for me is that I would have to carry extra mirrors because I don’t see a mirror lasting very long on my ATV with the way that I ride. But that is a price I think I can handle if it means easier access to some trail heads.
This new law would also allow crossing roads where the current law states you have to stop and push your ATV across the road (like everybody does that). I am sure the anti-motorist groups are all up in arms over this and fighting it. The OHV community needs to support this so contact your local Colorado State Representative and encourage them to help pass this bill. You can also contact the Colorado Off-Highway Vehicle Coalition (COHVCO) for more information.
If you live in another state with this type of law please let us know how ATV use on public roads is working in the comment section. Remember to ride responsibly and stay the trail!