Proposal Allowing OHV’s on Renville County Roads Advances 19 Mar 14

An ordinance that would open Renville County roads to recreational use by all types off-highway vehicles continues to move forward.

The West Central Tribune reports members of the Renville County Board of Commissioners discussed setting a 40 mile-per-hour speed limit for the vehicles, and possibly limiting the areas where golf carts could drive as they took up the issue again on Tuesday.

Commissioners are expected to vote on the ordinance at their next meeting.

The ordinance would allow licensed drivers ages 16 and over access to all county roads when driving all-terrain vehicles, side-by-side vehicles, mini-trucks, golf carts and utility task vehicles. The vehicles would need to have a county permit and safety features such as rear view mirrors.

Jen Mueller, a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, and Renville County Sheriff Scott Hable met with the commissioners.

Mueller told the commissioners she has obtained copies of ordinances from other counties in the state that allow off-highway vehicles on roads, but most are focused on ATVs. She is not aware of any allowing all types of off-highway vehicles.

Neither of the law enforcement officers objected outright to the proposed ordinance, but they cited some concerns.

As a DNR officer, Mueller said she felt obligated to express concerns about the safety of allowing ATVs on paved roadways they are not designed for high-speed travel on paved roads.

Sheriff Hable also cited concerns about driving ATVs at highway speeds on paved roadways, noting that he believed they would handle higher speeds better on the gravel shoulders.