The popularity of all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) in Ohio is high and will only continue to grow. However, statistics show that far too many individuals underestimate the inherent dangers of riding ATVs. In fact, according to a 2007 Science Daily report, more than 10,000 Ohioans were seen in emergency rooms across the state for ATV accident related injuries. Sadly, national statistics for that year also showed that Ohio was listed in the top third for the number of fatalities caused by ATVs.
We now know that these statistics actually reflect only a portion of Ohio ATV accidents, as law enforcement officials have not always categorized ATV accidents in the same manner. Some divisions were combining ATV accident reports with other types of vehicle incidents, and according to the Toledo Blade, many accidents go unreported because they happen on private land. This year, in an effort to collect more accurate data, the Ohio State Patrol began implementing a new crash reporting system that distinguishes ATVs and snowmobile accidents from other types of vehicular accidents.
Ohio ATV Laws
Currently, Ohio law states that all drivers and passengers on ATVs must wear eye protection and helmets when riding on state lands. All ATVs are to be titled and registered with registration being renewed every three years. All ATV drivers who wish to travel on public lands must have a driver’s license or motorcycle endorsement. No child under the age of 16 may operate an ATV on public land unless accompanied by an adult.
In 2010, Ohio revised its laws to include stiffer penalties for ATV riders who trespass, making it a fourth degree misdemeanor with a fine of up $250 and up to 30 days of incarceration. All ATVs are to display a license plate and validation sticker that is “distinctly visible.”
While Ohio does not require ATV operators to take ATV safety training courses, the Specialty Vehicle Institute of America can help you enroll in a safety course and offers information about enrollment cost reductions and state incentives. More information about ATV safety courses can be found at online.svia.org
More information regarding Ohio ATV and all-purpose vehicles laws can be found at the Hubbard Township Police website at www.hubbardtwppd.org and in the Ohio Revised Code Title 4519-Special Vehicles found online at codes.ohio.gov.
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