According to a press release from the Jo Daviess County Sheriff's office, the operation of non-highway vehicles (ATV’s, UTV’s, non-highway motorcycles) on streets, roads and highways is prohibited, unless otherwise exempted under the Illinois Vehicle Code.

attachment-attachment-Jo daviess sheriff-final

What Does Illinois Law State?

Violations of this statute may result in citations and vehicle being removed from the scene. Information regarding the use of non-highway vehicles on streets, roads, and highways, can be found in the Illinois Vehicle Code and are as follows:

  • Operating an ATV on the tracks or in the path of an actively functioning railroad is illegal.
  • Every ATV requires titling with the state unless they will be used for ranching, farming, or general agriculture.
  • You must never operate or ride an ATV under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • To operate an ATV on public roads or land, you must register the ATV with a Public Access Decal.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV that emits pollutants; this violates the standards of the Environmental Protection Act.
  • You must never operate an ATV in a careless manner and endanger the life or property of someone else.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV on the street, roadway, or highway in Illinois.
  • Before crossing a street with an ATV, you must come to a stop and let any pedestrian or vehicle pass before you cross.
  • Crossing a roadway with an ATV should be done at a 90-degree angle where a safe and quick crossing is available.
  • It is illegal to operate an ATV on a railroad, within any natural preserve, or in any tree nursery.
  • Before you ride an ATV on private property, you must have obtained verbal or written consent from the owner.
  • You must not operate an ATV while possessing a firearm unless the firearm is unloaded.
  • Operating an ATV within 100 feet of dwelling areas between midnight and 6 am is illegal.
Credit: Getty Images / John Moore
Credit: Getty Images / John Moore

Generally, it is illegal to operate an ATV on public roads in Illinois, unless authorized by a municipality, township, county, or other local government where the speed limit is less than 35 mph. If used on public roads, the ATV must also be covered under an automobile, atv, farm, or other insurance policy.

Credit: moodboard

What are the consequences?

Firstly, there is a $120 fine for any rider that is caught operating an off-highway vehicle without a public access sticker, or illegally in any other way. The fee for an Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp is $15 annually and expires the March 31st following the year displayed on the Off-Highway Vehicle Usage Stamp. Remember, Illinois does not require an ATV to be registered when it is used solely on private property. Secondly, failure to comply with state laws can result in heftier fines, your ATV being impounded, or in some circumstances jail time.

Credit: suriya silsaksom
Credit: suriya silsaksom

Illinois allows ATVs to be operated on private and public land with no age restriction. If the quad is operated lawfully on public roads, that rider must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license.

Friends driving off-road with quad bike or ATV and UTV vehicles.
Credit: FS-Stock

The Jo Daviess County Sheriff’s Office has reported that they will be stepping up the enforcement of this specific code of conduct. They state that this is an effort to inform, educate, and maintain safety on the public roadways within Jo Daviess County of Illinois.

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[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

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