Investigator Rob Bowker
Isanti County Sheriff’s Office
This is the time of year when ATV use is ramping up in our area, and it’s a good time to inform the public and riders of the laws related to ATV use.
In Minnesota, in order to ride in the ditches, or on a township road, a rider must have a licensed ATV, be 16 years of age, and have a current driver’s license.
From April 1 to Aug. 1, ATV use in the ditches south of Highway 95 is prohibited because we are in an agricultural zone. This means that you have to drive on private property when you are south of this line. You can operate an ATV on private property, DNR trails and township roads if you obey all laws.
One of the biggest violations we see is kids under 18 riding ATV’s without helmets. The law states anyone under 18 is required to wear a helmet. I always ask people if they can give me one “good excuse” for not wearing a helmet; unfortunately, most fatal accidents, involve riders who weren’t wearing a helmet. The public has reported seeing multiple people riding on ATV’s and ask about passengers. Anyone under 18 can only have their parent or guardian as the passenger.
We “strongly discourage” multiple passengers on ATV’s. This can lead to serious injury, or even death; riding on the front or rear rack is very dangerous.
The Isanti County Sheriff’s Office is teaching an ATV Safety Class on May 18 for kids under 18. It is free and will be held at the Isanti County Fairgrounds in Cambridge.
In Minnesota, kids are required to have an ATV Certificate when they reach the age of 12, or are born after July 1, 1987. We also have ATV rule books and CDs available for you at our office. If you have any questions related to ATV use or want to sign your kid up for a class, contact Investigator Rob Bowker at 763-691-2414.