You may not realize it but it has been almost a year since it became legal to operate an All-Terrain Vehicle or an Off-Road Vehicle on Vanderburgh County roads. Now before you go off to buy one - or take the one you already have out of the garage, there are some exceptions and rules.

According to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's office, on July 14, 2020, County Commissioners authorized the use of ATVs and ORVs on country roads outside the city limits of Evansville and outside the town limits of Darmstadt, although there are some exceptions and restrictions.

So what are the exceptions and restrictions? According to the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's website,

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  • Golf Carts are not considered an ATV or ORV and are not permitted to operate on city or county roadways
  • ATVs & ORVs must not be operated on sidewalks, bicycle/walking paths or on state highways
  • They do have to be equipped with headlights and tail lights
  • They must have fully functional brakes.
  • If operated after sunset, the ATV or ORV must be equipped with both a pair of headlights and a pair of tail lights
  • They should only carry the maximum number of passengers that the ATV or ORV is equipped for and no more
  • You have to be at least 18 years old and have a valid driver's license to operate one on the roadway. Likewise, you must have liability insurance and carry proof of insurance with the ATV or ORV
  • All applicable state laws must be observed while driving

Additionally, any passengers under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while riding on an ATV or ORV. According to the sheriff's website,

Under the law, owners of ORVs who allow children younger than age 18 to ride their ORV on public or private property without wearing an approved helmet can be charged with a Class C infraction, which carries a maximum penalty of $500.

It is also worth noting that there are 36 roads within Vanderburgh County that are outside the City of Evansville and the town of Darmstadt that are prohibited and do not allow ATVs and ORVs. You can view a PDF map detailing the restricted roads on the Vanderburgh County Sheriff's website. So while it is lawful and legal, there are some rules and some restrictions you'll want to make sure you're observing to keep yourself, your passenger(s) and other motorists safe.

[Source: Vanderburgh County Sheriff]

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