New ordinance allows ATV/UTV's on roads in Delaware County - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

New ordinance allows ATV/UTV's on roads in Delaware County

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DELAWARE COUNTY (KWWL) -

The timing for national ATV Safety Week couldn't be much better in Delaware County.

An ordinance just went into effect June 1, allowing ATV's and UTV's on secondary roads outside of city limits in the county.

Delaware joins Buchanan and Benton Counties, who already had similar ordinances in place.

The new ordinance will allow much more freedom of movement for vehicle owners who were previously confined to private property or ATV/UTV parks, none of which are close to Delaware County.

"We really either had to haul to ride or have private property to ride on to have an opportunity to use our machines. And of course, this gives us the opportunity to travel from community, have trail rides through the countryside, and enjoy an afternoon ride with friends and family going out and just having a good time," said Jim Willey, a DNR ATV education instructor.

But the ordinance was passed with several conditions.

The full ordinance, with all those conditions, can be found here: http://co.delaware.ia.us/Ordinances/Proposed%20ATV%20Ordinance%20-%20Draft%20VII-%202.pdf.

But basically, your vehicle can't go above 35 MPH, and must have an orange flag attached.  You also have to have headlights, taillights, turn signals, break signals, a speedometer, a horn and seat belts.

You also have to be a licensed driver, or if you're under 18, pass an ATV Education Course taught by the Iowa DNR.

The right to get ATV's on the road was fought for hard, especially by Chuck Hutchinson and other members of the Roads to Trails UTV/ATV Club in Delaware County (https://www.facebook.com/roadstotrails/?fref=nf).

"It was a sigh of relief. This is going to do a lot for local businesses and smaller communities," Hutchinson, president of the club, said.

And because there will be more ATV's on the road, Willey says other motorists need to be aware.

He says because they can't go above 35 MPH, you should pass with care. And don't expect them to pull off the road, as part of the ordinance requires they stay on the road while driving.

The ordinance only applies to secondary roads outside of city limits.  Hopkinton and Dundee have both passed ordinances already to allow ATV's on city streets.

Willey says they'll be approaching other cities in Delaware County looking for the same result.

He also says a number of other counties surrounding Delaware County are contemplating similar ordinances to allow ATV's and UTV's on their roads.

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