All Terrain Vehicles
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are an important form of both recreational and professional transportation. Oregon has hundreds of miles of scenic and safe trails for ATVs to recreate, and our rural communities hope to benefit from these opportunities. Currently, Oregon only permits operation of ATVs on public highways in very specific situations, such as to cross it at a 90 degree angle, unless the road authority permits greater access. A County Board of Commissioners could enable ATVs on their county roads through an ordinance, but should keep in mind the liability risk inherent.
Counties with ATV Ordinances
These counties permit ATV access on some or all of their county roads. Please review each ordinance carefully prior to assuming any county road is open to ATV’s.
In the 2017 Legislative session, Senate Bill 344 – Use of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) on Highways was passed. The bill is effective January 1, 2018.
The bill requires snowmobiles and certain all-terrain vehicles to cross a highway at an intersection or more than 100 feet from an intersection. Establishes the All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Access Routes Advisory Committee and directs the Oregon Transportation Commission to designate ATV access routes throughout Oregon where persons may operate ATVs within a portion of the highway right of way. Provides an exemption from vehicle equipment requirements if the vehicle operator is crossing a portion of a highway right of way designated as an ATV access route. Requires the operator to possess an Oregon driver license or permit and to wear a motorcycle helmet when operating on an ATV access route. SB 344 was developed through a State Parks and Recreation Department workgroup process that included ATV users, dealers, staff from ODOT, and others established by SB 192 (2015).
Issue Brief: Permitting the use of ATVs on County Roads – Rob Bovett, AOC Legal Counsel
ATVs on Roadways: A Safety Crisis – Consumers Federation of America
SB 192 Presentation – Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation