The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is reminding ATV riders that when riding in ditches, they are allowed to drive on a roadway shoulder or inside bank of a public road right-of-way, if necessary, to avoid obstructions or environmentally sensitive areas.
“A good rule of thumb is that if you would create damage with your ATV by going through that wetland or sensitive area in the ditch, you can legally go around it,” said Conservation Officer Leland Owens, recreational vehicle coordinator, Division of Enforcement. “ATV riders should always use extreme caution when riding the ditches because of the numerous hazards they contain.”
ATV operators should also know:
· A valid driver’s license is required to operate an ATV on road rights-of-way, including ditches, inside and outside slopes, and crossing roads. A driver’s license is not needed when riding on a designated trail.
· Class 2 ATVs cannot be operated in road ditches except when riding on a portion of right-of-way that is part of a designated trail.
· Cities, towns, counties, and road authorities may further regulate the operation of ATVs under their jurisdiction. Check with the appropriate unit of government for additional regulations.
· The U.S. Forest Service, the National Park Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service regulate motor vehicle use on federal lands. Check with the managing agency before riding on these lands.
Request a copy of the 2009-10 Off-Highway Vehicles Regulations booklet by calling the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 (888-646-6367 toll-free) between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. For riding opportunities in the Superior National Forest, go to http://www.fs.fed.us/r9/forests/superior/