Supervisors to vote on ATV/UTV ordinance


LEE COUNTY – Supervisors will cast their first vote on a proposed ATV/UTV county ordinance at Tuesday’s regular Board of Supervisors’ meeting.

The ordinance is being proposed to control the use of the vehicles on county secondary roads, and will add a Chapter 6 to Title 4 of the current county code specifically addressing the regulation and permitting of the vehicles.

It also puts a definition on an ATV, a UTV, as well as defining roadways where they vehicles are allowed to be driven.

UTV, are utility terrain vehicle or utility task vehicle.  ATV is an all-terrain vehicle. ATVs are typically smaller and meant for a single rider, sometimes equipped for a passenger. ATVs typically are used for sport while UTV can be built for up to four people and are built for heavier workloads.

ATVs typically have a handlebar system whereas UTV’s employ a steering wheel.

According to the language of the code, the vehicles would be allowed on county secondary roads, with the exception of Level C roads. Riders would also be allowed to cross paved roads and may operate on paved roads only to the nearest gravel road if no direct crossing exists.

The vehicles are only allowed on county roadways between the hours of 4 a.m. and 10 p.m. The vehicles must all run with lighted head and tail lights, display an orange slow moving vehicle flag, and must run single file. Three-wheel ATVs are prohibited.

Drivers must have a valid driver’s license and be at least 18 years of age. Vehicles cannot exceed 35 mph and ATVs cannot carry a passenger.

The vehicles must also be registered with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and must carry insurance with minimums of $50K bodily injury per person, $100K bodily injury per accident, and $50K property damage.

The driver must also be able to produce a Lee County permit issued at the county recorder’s office. Permits will be good for one year from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31.

Violations of the ordinance are simple misdemeanors with minimum fines of $200 for a first offense of the ordinance; $400 for a second offense; and $625 for a third or subsequent offense. Anything beyond a second offense could also include up to 30 days in jail.

Additionally, the ordinance provides for a suspension or revocation of permits at the discretion of the Lee County Sheriff.

The ordinance would go into effect after a third reading and publication of the language.

Additional restrictions are outlined in the proposed code.

In other action:

• supervisors will hold a public hearing and vote on the sale of 1225 25th St. in Fort Madison to the City of Fort Madison for $1.

• approve the 2019-20 preliminary fiscal year budget and set a date for a public hearing on the budget.

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