Anamosa

Gov. Kim Reynolds signed House File 2130 into law officially June 13, marking a celebratory moment for ATV/UTV enthusiasts in Jones County, the epicenter for the push for new legislation.

The push for a unified state law has been going on for the past two years. A survey in 2020 that got responses from more than 4,600 people from all of Iowa’s 99 counties got feedback on the state of ATV/UTV laws across the state. The survey found that two-thirds of the counties already allowed for UTVs on county roads, more than half respondents lived in rural counties, nearly three-fourths used vehicles for tourism purposes and nearly 100% of the respondents would visit other rural communities if they had access to state roads.

The bill was one of the final bills to get through in the session. The bill had some amendments added on before it passed the senate, including not allowing the vehicles to ride on roads that are closed or that are being used as detours and allowing restrictions during special events, requiring the updated bill to be repassed in the house.

The following are some of the highlights of the bill, though the full simplified explainer of the bill can be found at the Blue Cut Trailblazers Facebook page.

• Operators must be at least 18 with a valid license and proof of insurance.

• Maximum speed is 35 m.p.h.

• Operational headlights, tail and brake lights, horn and rear-view mirrors are needed.

• Operation is not allowed on an interstate highway or four-lane highway.

• Four-lane highways can be crossed as long as it’s not an interstate.

• They may only travel on state highways on most direct and accessible route to and from an all-terrain vehicle park or trail, to the nearest county road, or an authorized city street or your residence.

Members of the local Blue Cut Trailblazers, meeting at Recreational Motorsports while the bill was still awaiting the governor’s signature, said they were excited that the bill was finally passed and that the use of the vehicles had been opened up across the state and that there are now a uniform set of rules—not different rules depending on what county you’re riding in.

“It’s nice to be able to ride in other places, other than just in town or on your own property,” Eileen Marsh said.

“It makes it the same across the state and allows us to enter other counties and be able to support other small businesses and helps with tourism,” Bobby Krum said.

As the bill has gained more traction, the group has seen interest in ATVs and UTVs on the rise, with members noting that their meeting that night was the most well attended yet.

An advisory board and email address has been established to assist anyone with questions at ia.stateohvadvisory@gmail.com. Following the signing of the bill, more than 40 emails flew into the inbox. The group has also released a YouTube video explaining some of the bill.

The new legislation will go into effect July 1.

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