Iowa’s Dubuque County Mulls Allowing ATVs on Public Roads


Nearly half of Iowa’s counties have approved use of all-terrain or utility vehicles for public roadways, and at least one large county is considering joining the trend.

Dubuque County supervisors have been considering the issue since two riding groups approached the board in February seeking access to roads, The Telegraph Herald reported. The vehicles are currently only permitted on county roads for agricultural reasons.
The Board set up a citizen committee to prepare a report that the supervisors considered as a statute. Authorities expect the report to be available in January.

Supporters of vehicles, the region will provide economic benefits by pulling riders, he says.

Dale Leslein, of the Dubuque County ATV / UTV Alliance, said: ı If we keep small towns alive, it’s probably the best economic way to drive people to small towns and ensure traffic flows. Les

Competitors have expressed concerns about the potential for security and accidents.

ATV manufacturers, vehicles are designed for land use, he says. Many models have a higher center of gravity than automobiles, ie they rotate easily on uneven ground, but are more likely to tip over at high speed. They also have low pressure tires that can make handling difficult on paved, dirt or gravel roads.

Riders say manufacturers’ warnings are more likely to limit responsibilities to prevent serious dangers.
Dubuque County Sheriff Joe Kennedy said he was concerned about the high population of the county, compared to small districts that allowed ATV to continue. Dubuque County has about 97,000 people, while Warren County, the most populous district that currently allows ATV driving, has about 50,000 inhabitants.

Story County is also approaching a formal debate on ATV, and told Rick Sanders, the chairman of Story County’s Supervisory Board.

”I think (district supervisors) is something to deal with at some point,“ he said.

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