Riding an ATV on Public Roads is Illegal

Jonesboro - Police are reminding all terrain vehicle drivers that riding their ATVs on public roads is illegal.  According to Arkansas State law, it's illegal to operate an ATV on any public road, whether it's a highway or county gravel road.  There are some exceptions to the law.

Here's a copy of the law from the Arkansas State Code:

   27-21-106. Operation on public highways unlawful - Exceptions.

(a)  It shall be unlawful for any person to operate an all-terrain vehicle upon the public streets and highways of this state, notwithstanding the fact that the vehicle may otherwise meet the equipment standards as set forth in § 27-20-104, except under the following conditions and circumstances: 
    (1)  An all-terrain vehicle may be operated upon the public streets and highways where the vehicle is used in farming or hunting operations and must be operated on the public streets and highways in order to get from one (1) field to another;

(2)  An all-terrain vehicle may be operated upon the public streets or highways if the vehicle needs to make a direct crossing of the street or highway to get from one (1) area to another and if the vehicle comes to a complete stop, yields the right-of-way to all oncoming traffic that constitutes an immediate hazard, and crosses the street or highway at an angle of approximately ninety degrees (90ø) to the direction of the street or highway. In crossing divided highways, the crossing may only be made at an intersection of the highway with another public street or highway. In crossings made between the hours from one-half (1/2) hour after sunset to one-half (1/2) hour before sunrise or in conditions of reduced visibility, the crossing may only be made with both front and rear lights turned on;

(3)(A)  Any person who has lost one (1) or both legs above the ankle or who otherwise has a serious walking handicap shall be permitted to operate a three-wheeled or four-wheeled all-terrain vehicle as a means of transportation upon any nonhard surfaced road in the state and upon the rights-of-way of all state and federal highways other than the rights-of-way of the federal interstate highway system.

(B)  Each vehicle, while being ridden on a non-hard surfaced road or on the right-of-way of a state or federal highway as authorized in this subdivision by a person who has a serious walking handicap, shall be equipped with a red flag at least six inches (6") wide and twelve inches (12") long on a pole or staff extending at least thirty-six inches (36") above the level of the seat.

(C)  For the purposes of this subdivision, "serious walking handicap" means any walking handicap certified as serious by a licensed physician.

(D)  Any person operating an all-terrain vehicle on a non-hard surfaced road or on the right-of-way of a state or federal highway pursuant to the authority granted in this subdivision shall carry on his or her person or on the vehicle the physician's certificate certifying that the person has a serious walking handicap.

(b)  When two (2) or more all-terrain vehicles are operating together on a public street or highway as permitted in limited circumstances in this chapter, the vehicles shall be operated in single file except while overtaking another vehicle. The operator of an all-terrain vehicle overtaking another vehicle proceeding in the same direction shall pass at a safe distance to the left until safely clear of the overtaken vehicle. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit an operator from overtaking and passing upon the right another vehicle which is making or about to make a left turn if the overtaking and passing is accomplished in accordance with Arkansas law. 

History. Acts 1987, No. 804, § 3; 1987, No. 1029, §§ 1, 2.